Networking is one of the most powerful ways anyone can grow a business quickly. However, it is vital to focus on building relationships and not simply pitch your offerings.
When utilized properly, networking is by far one of the fastest and lowest barriers to entry methods to grow a business. In every city, there are countless networking groups filled with people who are promoting their business, referring others, and simply making introductions to people who could possibly do business with each other.
The greater purpose behind networking with others is to build relationships that can ultimately lead to sales. One of the pitfalls of networking groups is the number of people who look at everyone they meet as a meal ticket vs a relationship. Networking is about building relationships to ultimately be introduced to people who can utilize the products and services you offer.
When someone focuses on trying to quickly sell a room, without building relationships, they can quickly find themselves out of business.
People love to buy, but hate being sold to!
Typically in most well-established networking groups, people will have previously built a relationship with someone in every profession that is represented. As people buy from those who they know like and trust, it is important to establish these key elements in a relationship prior to initiating a sale.
Does this mean going for the sale first doesn’t work? No, it can work, but typically it results in losing more sales than gained.
So how can you quickly build relationships to ultimately generate sales?
The short answer is, give value then ask for the sale.
People will buy a product or service when they see inherent value demonstrated. However, it must go beyond the product, but also value must be given to the person. For example, if someone demonstrated a way for a potential client to save money, or increase revenue, they will be more likely to utilize the services of an individual.
When you begin focusing on building relationships, not only are you more likely to generate a sale, you are also more likely to be introduced to your prospects sphere of influence.
Ultimately the goal of every person leveraging networking to generate business should be to obtain introductions to someone’s sphere of influence. If you are not doing this currently, then it must become your number one priority until achieved.