Coca Cola is one of the world’s most recognised brand, yet it still spends over $4 billion on advertising every year. So if you haven’t got their budget: Networking could help you..
Today we give you the skinny on Networking. Love it or hate it, its a great way to grow your business and it costs very little. You can network online or by physically attending events.
Did you know that we let at least 80 per cent of our potential clients fall through the cracks – by not following up after an event (seminars, exhibitions, networking events). Yes, according to research people do not follow up on potentially hot business leads! That is lost time and money.
I can testify to this as when I attend events and take someone’s card, I will send an email to them or connect with them and I have found that of those I send an email to, less than half of them respond, even after sending a second email.
How many times has someone tried to sell you something, and afterwards you’ve been keen – but they never got back in touch? See…they missed a sale. How much money are you leaving on the table by not following up on your warm leads?
Most of our new business/customers will come from people that we do not know very well. Research has shown that most of the people we know have the same resources and probably belong to the same networks that we do. This means that we have to look beyond our current networks and approach people in new networks who can open us up to a whole new set of people and resources.
I understand we are all busy and some of the typical excuses I come across are:
I don’t have time to network because I am so busy with my current customers/clients
I don’t know how to network – I am too shy and don’t want to sound like a used car salesman
But, If you haven’t got a sales team, you are the sales team
Three key things that you must do to stay in touch with people:
Focus on building relationships – remember that phrase – people buy from people they like..become likeable, show that you are interested in others. Steve Covey states: Seek first to understand, then be understood. Everyone loves talking about themselves, so ask them about themselves and their business.
For those who are interested in your services, follow up – Immediately! For other new leads keep in touch – by sending them information that might help them. For instance you may want to tell them about other suitable networking/training events that might benefit them or you could send them a link to an article that might interest them. If you have a database – put them on it, so you are remembered by them.
Whilst the people that you meet at some events may not need your product or services, they may know someone who does.
Some deals will be as a result of the most unlikely contact and come at the most unexpected time.