Hitting a Homerun at a Networking Event Takes Work14 Oct, 2003 By: Jay Wallus imageSource
Hitting a Homerun at a Networking Event Takes Work
you get it or you don't. In almost every situation, including networking, there
are reps who get it and there are reps who don't. And, it's pretty easy to tell
who's who. Those who don't get it can often be found beating their heads against
the wall and complaining that they never get any referrals. While those who do
get it, seem to be tuned in and working effortlessly-creating and generating
more business. These people don't make foolish mistakes because they have
figured out that there is a definite formula for success and they work it over
and over again.
dictionary defines networking as the exchange of information or services among
individuals, groups or institutions. I define networking as a great way to get
more business-a lot more business-if, and only if, you prepare properly and
follow through. There is no other way. If there was a shortcut, believe me, in
my days as a copier salesperson, I would have found it.
always ask me what networking can do for them. My response is always the same,
"What can't it do?!" Networking gets your name and the name of your
company out there. You never know what kind of huge account is just waiting for
you to come along and scoop it up. You never know who you'll meet and who you
can impress. Whether it be a kid's sports game, association meeting (business
and social), place of worship, PTA meeting, social club or even and people in
your own neighborhood, you have the ability to speak with people who would never
take a cold call from you in a business setting. And, I haven't even mentioned
the obvious Chamber of Commerce and other referral-passing organizations. The
bottom line is there's a million ways to grow your business using this method.
that you know where you can network, you must have something better to say to
them when they ask you what it is you do for a living. "I sell office
equipment" is not going to cut it. Instead of this, my question to
salespeople who really want to succeed at networking is, "What types of
companies do you work with? Who in the company do you meet with? What's so
different about your office equipment dealership and why the heck would I want
to refer you to my company?" If you don't have the answers prepared ahead
of time in a format that flows, you will inevitably strike out before you ever
even get up to bat.
you can be effective in any sort of revenue generating networking situation, you
must have a well thought out 30-second introduction. This intro must make people
think about who they know that you could help. This rarely can be done with the
"I sell office equipment" line. By breaking down your introduction
into five focus areas, you're 30-second introduction will suit most any
Elements to Networking Success 1. Always begin with your company, product and
market (who you serve). 2. Remember to deliver a your dealership's unique
selling propositions. 3. Tell about the types of clients you love dealing with.
4. Talk about the types of companies or industries that send you the most
business. 5. References companies you work with now.
an example of an introduction that I crafted for one of my clients. (Names were
changed to protect the innocent)
Jay and in business development with The Digital Document Dealership. Our
company shows businesses how much money they can save in time and labor by
having their documents scanned, printed, copied and faxed through one device. In
fact, a company that we worked with last month realized a savings of over 25
percent on their paper costs alone after we installed a new digital
multifunction product. We're pretty unique in this industry-all of our
technicians are Certified Network Engineers and all service requests are
responded to within four business hours; most other companies can't respond that
quickly. We love the mortgage industry right now and love to meet brokers in
that industry who might have experienced trouble copying all of the applications
that have been coming in. Real estate attorneys are also a great source of
business for us as their business has shot up since the drop in interest rates.
We've helped companies both large and small including Giant Mortgage and Low
go to different events and functions throughout the course of year. Why not get
the most from these opportunities? A little bit of groundwork can mean a score
for you and for your company. And, for all you Yankee fans, it Roger Maris who
said, "one hits home runs not by chance but by preparation." I think
he was onto something.