The Insider’s Guide to How Networking Can Help You Stop Selling
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Does your network work for you? If not, you’re going to want to keep reading.
It’s no secret that networking can be a time-consuming process, but if done correctly, a good network will bring you all the leads you’ll ever need for your business. If you start with a solid foundation and nurture the relationships within your network, your connections will do all the work for you and you’ll never have to sell again. So, how do you get started?
The first step is to stop selling your product and start selling you.
This might sound crazy, but trust us, it works.
As you meet new people and get to know them, take the time to genuinely get to know them. Don’t try to throw them a pitch or sell your products to them.
Take time to learn about them and ask about their business. This will go a long way in growing your relationship with them and will come in handy in the future when you are sending them leads because you know the type of client they are looking for.
People don’t want to be sold to constantly, so they will remember you as the person they enjoyed getting to know and who didn’t sell to them right away, or ever.
Also, let them get to know you.
It’s normal to want to be a little guarded when you are meeting new people, but try to open up and let them learn about you. Show them that you want to learn from them. Be fully present in the process. Let them see your passion for your business or your industry without talking about your products or selling your services. This will help them to form a relationship with you, and make them feel like they know you and can come to you in the future with leads.
The next step is to give energy.
We also like to call this “being a value-added connector.”
We’ve all met people that just drained all the energy from the room because all they wanted to do was sell you something. Don’t be that person.
When you find a way to give energy, people will want to be around you and work with you because when they interact with you, they feel good about the interactions. They walk away more energized and excited for the next opportunity to work with you, and, in return, introduce more people to you. The more value and good energy that you can give to your connections, the better.
Giving energy or adding value can be as simple as offering to do a favor for someone, writing a referral on LinkedIn, or making a recommendation for a restaurant or even a book. Regardless of how you give energy, it will show your connections that you are dedicated to building a real connection, not just a business connection. They will be happy to introduce potential leads to you because they know you’ll treat the people within their network with the same care and compassion that you treat them with.
The last step is to stay in touch.
You don’t have to talk to everyone in your network every single day, but reaching out from time to time just to check in and say hello keeps the relationship fresh and shows that you haven’t forgotten about them.
This can be as simple as a text or an email — just a little something to let your connections know that you’re still around and you still want to have a relationship with them. You can add extra value by sending an article or a book recommendation with a note that lets your connection know that you thought they might find value in it. This lets them know that you’re keeping an eye out for things that might be beneficial for them and reminds them to look for things that might benefit you, such as leads, for instance.
If you follow these three steps with all of your connections, you’ll never have to sell again. The people within your network will bring you all of the leads that you need because they are going to want to provide you with the same value that you have provided for them.
So, if you take the time to nurture your relationships and truly get to know your network, it will do the work for you. You just have to put in the effort to connect with people. That’s a lot easier than cold calling, right?