7 Tips for Networking to Accelerate Your Sales

Today’s post is from REALTORS® Signature Series Speaker Drew Stevens,  Ph.D. and President of Stevens Consulting Group. He is the author of Split Second Selling and the founder and coordinator of the Sales Leadership Program at Saint Louis University.

To obtain business in today’s ridiculously busy and competitive world requires being visible so that potential clients see you in action. One of the best methods but most feared is networking.

The problem with networking is that many individuals don’t enjoy it because it takes them from their comfort zone. Most people are more comfortable conversing with those they know and meeting new people is simply an annoyance.

However meeting new people has three positive effects:

1.      Lessen labor – meeting new individuals allows you to prospect less as more individuals get to know you.

2.      Increases Productivity – the more individuals you meet the more often you express your value to others.

3.      Increases Visibility – The more often you network allows others to understand your value and tell others, therein building your referral network.

Apart from escaping the comfort zone, individuals actually need to understand that networking helps business as long as there is true socializing and expressing value. With that in mind there are some things to consider when networking.

  • Express Value – Too many today introduce themselves by stereotype and labels. The only way to provide an expression of interest is to use a value proposition to help differentiate you from others. Using an audio logo or value statement allows creates emotional interest.
  • Being Active Networking requires physical involvement at events. If the flowers on the wallpaper are more noticeable than participants there is an issue.
  • Genuine Interest – A myth of networking is geared to the transactional end meaning that many attend expecting immediate business. Networking is about creating relationships that build trust and respect. The notion is to become a trusted advisor this does not happen overnight.
  • Follow Up – Attending the event is only the beginning. Networking requires follow up and meeting people in between events to continue conversation and allow for better understanding between individuals.
  • Listening as Art – When we attend events it becomes easy to want to assimilate conversations and share agreement with ideologies and background. But what really establishes the best methods for networking are becoming interested in others simply by listening. We all want to tell but sometimes listening is more important. We discover more information this way.
  • Remaining Neutral – As we get to know individuals there is an expression of personal tastes however many of which do not belong in purposeful conversation. It is best to remain neutral and offer as little personal opinion until there is mutual trust.
  • Have a plan – Attend events with a goal in mind. There might be a desire to meet several individuals or simply one. Be strategic so that networking provides you with a return on your time.

There are several methods to help increase visibility and marketing attraction but networking is the most efficient because others experience you in action. Illustrate value, become interested and you will attract clients at every networking event.

© 2011. Drew Stevens PhD. All rights reserved.

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