You paid the price. You did your due diligence which included; attending meetings, passing out business cards, swapping leads, and building referral relationships over massive amounts of coffee. Then, while talking with one of these important lead swapping partners, you find out they bought from a competitor. What’s up with that! Why wouldn’t they have come to you first?
Unfortunately they probably didn’t really understand you or your offering. “But I’ve talked to them about what I do multiple times? How can that be?” Don’t assume an acquaintance or even “friend” will feel any kind of loyalty to you when buying time comes around. You can change this however… Here’s how.
“Networking is an essential part of building wealth.” -Armstrong Williams
5 items that can turn network partners into customers!
1.) Are you always selling to them? Are they always selling to you? Sales networking of all forms typically is very 100 foot level. What I mean by that is it’s more “what’s in it for me” than truly getting to know someone. Swapping leads, stories, and educating each other is great but hardly makes for a loyal customer. You need less selling and more listening. Expound on your remarkable message. Keep your personal branding, image and offering laser focused.
2.) Do you know what their point-of-view is of what you sell? Maybe they think your product is the “Cadillac” and they just needed the “Chevy”. Again Keep your personal branding – image and offering laser focused.
3.) Do you know what they do… really? Do they know what you do? If you’re always pitching and never consulting why would they feel “warm and fuzzy” next time they need something? Really get to know someone… they’re likes – dislikes, hobbies, families, etc.. Have I mentioned that you need to be less selling and more listening? A reoccurring theme in sales success I’m afraid.
4.) Call me crazy… but talking about the deal where you just “Ripped their lips off” might not be the very best networking conversation topic. Watch the story telling during meet-ups and social media conversations. A potential buyer in your circle of influence might be more than a little nervous working with you after you have told them how your last deal was a “slam dunk”! Just a thought.
“The richest people in the world look for and build networks, everyone else looks for work.” -Robert Kiyosaki
5.) Last but definitely not least is that there are those that simply don’t want to buy from someone they know. They’ve had a previous bad experience and the “pain” is simply too much. Some examples of selling to networking contacts successfully can help here. Make sure they have a keen understanding of your remarkable message.
Networking, meet-ups, social media events are all great venues to increase contacts and sales. Stay on top of what your “brand” is with these groups and organizations. Are you representing yourself correctly or are you so braggadocios that no one really knows you? Keep your professional image – message clear and concise. Next time you’ll be first on their list of buying contacts I promise.Photos courtesy of 123RF