Successful networkers know that networking can be an incredible way to find referral partners, meet prospects, and make more money. Yet I still meet seasoned sales professionals who think networking is a waste of time. Every time I hear someone complain about how networking doesn’t work, I think, “You’re doing it wrong!”
I have a goal to attend a networking meeting of some sort every week and recommend the same for my coaching clients. When done right, networking can be an enormous income producing activity. But when you just go through the motions, networking CAN be an incredible waste of time. Successful networkers network with purpose; they attend every event with a specific plan of attack.
There’s a lot of possible reasons why you’re not closing enough business, but there’s one critical, yet simple, step that sales professionals often miss. It’s a step that I see over and over again in my coaching and consulting business – even with seasoned salespeople who have amazing skill and make quite a bit of sales (but could be making more).
Here’s a real world example: recently, I was working with one of my coaching clients about a deal he didn’t close.
Oftentimes, self discipline boils down to what you do when no one’s looking. Want to see what real self discipline looks like? Check out this recent Under Armour ad:
Even though I’ve never been a competitive athlete, I’ve come to realize that many of the best motivational videos are centered around elite athletes. I get it. I admire the motivation and self discipline it takes to be an athletic champion, because it takes a lot of those same qualities to have an elite career in sales.
In-person sales calls can be incredibly valuable when you know how to create a buying atmosphere. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to start off the meeting (and the relationship) on the wrong foot.
I spent 13 years of my career in the mortgage business. During that time, I saw far too many loan officers perform some pretty pathetic sales calls on realtors. More recently, in my work as a sales coach, I’ve seen these same poor techniques repeated across many industries.
Here are the most common examples of bad sales call techniques (I call them the 3 B’s):
Do you have a WOW statement? No? Then how do you answer this simple question: “So, what do you do?”
It’s the first question asked when sales professionals meet at a networking event. It’s the most common jumping off point when a sales professional meets a potential prospect. It’s your big chance to make a bold first impression. Sadly, most sales people blow it.
I turn 40 years old this week. Perhaps sharing my age isn’t the smartest business move, but I’m going somewhere with this – play along with me. Sales is in my blood; I just love the art (and science!) of selling, I work hard at it and I know I’m good at what I do.
Unfortunately, I haven’t always felt that I could be myself. I used to wish I was older, more mature or more experienced. I inherited good genes and I’ve never really looked my age. In business, that has often led me to wish I was something that I wasn’t.