Is there really a better way than just making a sale?
Good morning on this first morning of August 2019! No this isn’t “The Lost Art of Follow-Through Part 4”. While I enjoyed sharing my thoughts on how we need to be more intentional with everything we do, I’m looking forward to moving on to other topics because let’s face it, there never really is a shortage of positive things to talk about. With this being said, I will be covering how networking isn’t just about your expertise.
Have you ever attended a business networking event or found yourself meeting with a prospective client or business person? Pending on your personality type, you usually either find this intimidating, ok or you love it. For me personally, I love meeting people whether its in a group setting or one-on-one. I always seek to expand my network of connection in business. I believe the best and most lasting way business is done is through solid working relationships. And this might be a shocker, but I don’t just mean in by making a sale the very first time you laid eyes on each other.
Honestly, I find this approach is very tired. I find it too impersonal and forceful. Call me not aggressive enough when it comes to making sales, but this approach is NOT the way to have long lasting business relationships. I get it, we’re all trying to make money. Few understand that better than me. I’m self-employed so every sale and dollar I make is more precious to me. However, instead of coming across like a money-grabbing, “Don’t care what your name is. I just want to make a sale even if you don’t need what I’m pushing” salesman, I want to be of value to someone in ways OTHER than just my services too. For example, here is a follow-up email I may write someone,
“Good morning John,
It was a pleasure meeting you last night at the network event. I enjoyed our conversation about what we do and why we attended the event.
Please feel free to check out my portfolio site in the signature link below to see samples, blog, reviews and know more about me.
Also, if there are other networking groups or connections you would like to make, please let me know as I would love to pass that info along to you. Thank you!
Do you see how I took the time to thank the person for their conversation and then directed them to my portfolio so they can see my work, reviews and presentation? How about how I ended the email with offering them the opportunity to have access to my other connections? That’s networking at its finest! Mutual benefitting of networking.
This might seem like a revolutionary concept, but I’m imploring of a working relationship where there may or may not have been mutual services exchanged. But maybe you introduced the person you’re networking with to someone you know who can help them with their services. It isn’t just about you making money right away. Networking done right involves your character and perception before other people. You want to give people a good impression, because likability matters almost as much as your ability. And when someone likes you and trusts you, you’re estimated 70% more likely to do business with them. I’ve met people in business who have not needed my services yet referred me other people in their circle because I made such a good impression on them with my portfolio, personality and punctuality (3 P’s). On the flip side, that means you can have the world’s greatest product, but if people don’t like you or trust you, it will greatly undercut your maximum earning potential. How unfortunate that would be.
I wanted to keep this blog entry shorter but much more practical. Many of us in business network a great deal so much so, that its how we get the majority of our business. The impressions we leave people, especially the new people we meet in business, leave a lasting mark for better or for worse. We got to make sure we are doing the best we can to put up the best possible display of our craft, our personality and our professional image.
PS I really audience participation because that tells me that you’re engaged, so if you have read this blog and its helped you, please let me know in the comments below. And of course if there was anything you weren’t sure on with what I wrote or you feel something can be improved, please let me know on that front too!