The 3 Keys to Successful Networking
Email and call sales? Easy. Sales presentations you’ve practiced to perfection? You could do those in your sleep. But networking events? They’re not everyone’s strong suit. However, they’re a crucial part of a salesperson’s job and you cannot afford to let your discomfort stand in your way of making fruitful connections. Ted Birkhahn, writing for Ragan, offers a few tips to keep in mind for your next networking event.
Create a Goal
What type of people are you hoping to connect to at this event? Are you trying to find new prospects, or perhaps someone in your industry who you can discuss trends with? Once you have that determined, proceed to the next tip.
Is there a registration list or an event page on social media that can show you who is going to be at said event? Use that list to your advantage to find out in advance who you should be introducing yourself to. But don’t stop at name, face and job title. Look for any developments they or their company have been a part of. Or see if you can find an interest or two that you share with the person to slip into conversation to help you stand out to the person, even after you’ve gone your separate ways. It’s like a presentation; the more prepared you are for what you’ll say, the easier it will be to talk about.
Establish a Connection
Don’t forget to exchange business cards with your new connections or add them on social media. What good will all your work to meet and talk with them have been if you don’t follow through and further develop a professional relationship with the person down the line? Email them industry updates or open up a discussion about the game both of your favorite sports teams played the night before. If you keep yourself top of mind, you’ll be the recipient of useful information or a new sale you may not have gotten otherwise.
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