In todays world of cold calling, hard sell, door to door sales, website banners that interfere and irritate the living daylights out of us, it’s no wonder we find ourselves becoming a lot less tolerant with the whole selling concept, never mind being sold to.
It’s within this myriad of sales people rejections that some of us, if not most of us depend on sales to keep us “alive”. Being a business owner or working for someone, within each and every business/company there’s highly likely to be some form of selling. It’s what pays the bills.
Over the years I’ve personally found networking to be one of the most effective marketing tools around. But it does take some effort – anything worth something is never easy to get – and taking that first step is usually the most challenging part of the whole process.
It’s so much easier being referred to someone as opposed to cold calling them.
Steps to take:
Look on the internet for a business network you can visit. (do some research as there is often a monthly/annual charge)
Arrange a visit and go, go prepared
Take lots of business cards and more importantly take a prepared 60 second spiel about your company as it’s highly likely you need to tell the group about your company and what you do. Within your 60 seconds after explaining who you are, what you do, tell the group what specific referrals are ideal for you, just a couple though, you don’t want to overload them.
Often you will be given a referral relating to your request, but if not, don’t be disheartened. Networking is about building up trust, business relationships and friendships. It’s a process that needs to be “farmed” to be effective.
Your responsibility as an effective networker is to be consistent, reliable, trustworthy, helpful and mindful of other peoples needs within the group and out there in the business world. Armed with this, your ears will prick up every time there may be an opportunity to create a referral – someone needs something, a loan, business coaching, car repaired etc – depending on the needs of your group.
In giving, you’ll gain, Someone once said “if you give everyone what they want, you can have anything you want”.