Every business leader knows the importance of networking because the connections made have a direct impact upon revenue. However, knowing the importance of something and being able to effectively leverage it are two different things. There are plenty of ways to make networking work as a lead generation system. The ten tips below help all businesses and business leaders who are looking to make networking a greater part of their business. Use these tips and watch the leads come pouring in.
1. Lead with Authenticity
The reason networking works for some people and doesn’t for others, is most people have the sense to know when someone is not being forthright with them. Authenticity is really important, and it is more than just telling the truth. A business leader shouldn’t put on a good show, instead, they should just speak from the heart. Talking to people is easy when not worrying about acting a certain way. Be who you are, the authenticity will show and that forms meaningful connections.
2. Demonstrate Empathy
The most important quality a salesperson can have is empathy. Empathy is understanding a person’s points of pain, yet it is more than that. Demonstrating empathy is understanding people’s feelings. Reading their facial expressions, noting the use of certain words, and truly listening help facilitate demonstration of empathy. Using empathy is a simple yet effective way to build real connections. These connections come in handy for getting referrals and building sales funnels.
3. Listen Twice as Much as You Talk
A universal truth of life is people don’t wish so much to have their problems solved as they wish to have a forum to talk about their problems. When less time is spent talking and more time is spent listening, this is a simple, non-verbal way of telling someone, “I care about what is happening to you.” This simple act goes a long way towards creating a real relationship that’s the foundation for doing business and getting referrals from connections.
4. Don’t Lead with a Sales Pitch
When meeting someone for the first time, don’t try to sell them on your business. That said, your elevator pitch should always be ready. Keep it concise and show value in the pitch, and eventually the sales pitch will be utilized. When meeting people, no one wants to be sold immediately, what you are doing is demonstrating to a possible networking connection is your interest is in their money, and not them. This is the easiest way to have a weak network. Shelve the sales pitch until there is a natural opening.
5. Keep in Touch with Written Notes
Thanks to e-mail, there’s little need for letters, but there is just as much need for written communication. Letting people know of opportunities for their business is a great way to use written communication. Let a connection know of someone that could use their services. Doing this in a written format adds meaning to it. It also will result in the connection returning the favor.
6. Attend Networking Events
There is a lot of value to attending networking events. This is a fast way to establish new connections with prospects and business leaders. These events are helpful because getting seen is vital to success. The rule is you can’t make sales if you don’t show up. That said, don’t go to every networking event. Go to the ones applicable to your business or events with business leaders.
7. Make Lots of Referrals
Any time you have a chance to make a referral, the best thing to do is provide one. The people in your network will be grateful for the referral and that means they will return the favor. Furthermore, a good referral makes your business look more professional to that customer or that networking connection. The best way to get new business is providing business to someone else. Professionalism goes a long way, and the best way to demonstrate professionalism is to refer someone to your networking connections. These referrals function as a proxy of what someone can expect when working with you. Furthermore, referring a good customer to a network connection shows your understanding of your connection’s business, and it confirms your professionalism to your networking connection.
8. Get Involved with Discussion Groups and Forums
The best way to demonstrate your expertise is to talk to people on discussion groups and forums that are relevant to your business. Doing this is a simple way to connect with people across large geographic areas. Furthermore, if you are getting involved with discussion groups these are simple ways to demonstrate your professionalism and your competence. They are great platforms to provide referrals as well.
9. Join Professional Associations
Similar to discussion groups, professional associations have many advantages. Networking with people in your industry or similar industries is a simple way to generate referrals for your business as well as provide referrals for others. These associations also provide opportunities for collaboration, and often when businesses work together, they haul in more revenue than if they were fishing on their own.
10. Get Started with Network Lead Exchange
When it comes to networking, the best way to get all of the previous nine tips into action in one move is to get started with Network Lead Exchange. This is the most powerful option out there with networking. Depending on comfort, there are a couple options – joining a chapter or owning a chapter. Either way, the future of networking is found with Network Lead Exchange. The commission for referrals is exceptional, but the simplicity provided by the platform is something brilliant. With just a couple of swipes, it is very easy to create messages, connect with other members of the network, and build a sales funnel continuously delivering more revenue. Find out more when visiting @ NETWORKLEADEXCHANGE.COM.