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How to Network

 

Things happen when you meet people.  Networking is an excellent way to meet people and make things happen.  There are a few key points to remember about networking:

Network with people you sell to.  I know that sounds obvious, but many sales people go where their colleagues go.  Go to the same networking events your customers go to.  If you sell security software go to the local user group meetings for security software professionals.

It is about them, not you.  Too many people go to networking events trying to find deals.  You should go to these events and try to find out as much as you can about the people you meet.  They will probably ask about what you do, but let that conversation-starter come from them.  It’s a good way to build a relationship.

Do not be shy.  It can be difficult to walk up to a stranger, introduce yourself and start up a conversation.  But don’t forget, that’s why they are there as well.  It’s as easy as, “Hi, I’m Louie Bernstein.  What do you do?”  If you don’t start these conversations, you’ve wasted your time attending.

Always get a business card.  When you are done with your conversation, write a brief note about that person and the conversation on the back of the card.  If they don’t have a business card use one of yours to write down their information.

Talk to as many people as you can.  You need to work the room like a politician.  Don’t be rude, loud or butt in on others conversations.  But try to have as many conversations as possible.

 

Sales Homework – Research at least three groups (of interest to your customers) that meet in your area and plan to attend one of their upcoming meetings.

Sales Managers – This may cost you a little money.  But it can be worth it.  Plus, if you are paying, you have the right to have a meeting the day after the networking event and go over all the contacts your sales rep made.       Read more...

   

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