Whenever we are focused on selling we miss out on a lot – including the sale!
Networking is not about bringing home a client. It IS about building relationships. In order to build those relationships, you have to spend time with your potential client, or referral source.
Focus on gaining a meeting. If you are exploring a referral relationship with someone, suggest a phone call, or coffee meeting. Your goal is to get to know them, and give them an opportunity to get to know you. It is NOT to give them a stack of your cards and expect them to refer you to their connections.
If you meet someone you think might be a potential client, ask for a short, in person meeting. That’s the goal! You want an opportunity to talk with them and ask them questions. You want to learn more about them, and their situation. You’re exploring whether they have a need for your product or service, and whether they are a prospect you actually want to work with.
The same holds true for online networking. Don’t sell! You will encounter people or companies that look like they could be good customers. That doesn’t mean you should start selling to them. Your first move should always be to get a conversation going. So, ask for a meeting. This can be in person, or via phone or skype.
Remember, you will do better, and sell more, when you cease trying to get the sale. Focus on gaining the meeting so you can learn more about the other person. That is the way you will grow your business effectively.
Need more assistance with this? Consider taking my free online course, 3 Step Prospecting Process. And as always, remember to seize this day.
Read more articles by Diane Helbig at Diane Helbig, Business Coach, contributor archive page.