Posted 14 June 2011 by Chris Farmer
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Networking is a form of marketing that uses your social skills to find new customers, leads and referrals.
In order to be good at networking you need develop some specific social skills and develop a method. The following notes are deigned to help.
Be clear on your purpose
In order to achieve any goal you must be clear on what that goal IS:
and what it is not.
When networking: Your purpose is:
- To find prospects
- To make appointments to meet the person again for a more formal sales interview.
- To gain referrals
Your purpose is NOT
- To chat the evening away with like minded individuals
- Eat the buffet
Develop your communication skills
Face to face communication comes in three forms:
- Voice tones
- Body language
Manage Your Use of words
There are two major categories of words
- Good words - words that help your cause
- Killer words - words that don't help your cause
Those words that help are:
- Gently inquisitive
Those words that don't help are:
- Corse language
- Humour at the others expense
- Derogatory language of anyone or anything
Be careful in your use of body language
Subsets for body language include
- Facial expression
Stand or sit straight
Don't slouch or lean
- Eye contact
Give people sufficient, but not too much eye contact
Move and animate yourself
Your voice tones affect others
- Louder voice - to imply confidence.
- Deeper voice - to imply maturity.
- Slower voice - to imply thoughtfulness and make it easier for your listener to "take it in"
Use a definite networking sales process
Use the following six step process:
Step one: Introduction
Be prepared to initiate contact with new human beings:
Walk up to new people and give your name:
Say: "Hello. May I introduce myself to you:
My name is James. And you are....?"
When they answer: MEMEORISE their name.
Remember to memorise their name.
Many people fail to remember the name on introduction and it causes panic later.
How to remember the name
As soon as you hear their name, repeat it back and use it in conversation, immediately.
Use it three or four times in the ensuing minutes and it will stick in your memory.
Then, don't talk about yourself,
Instead.......go to step two
Step two Ask questions to understand their world
You need to discover three things in the next ten minutes:
- Find out his current situation
What is this person doing at work?
What is their company trying to achieve?
- Find out their goals for the future
What are the longer range goals of the company this person works for?
- Discover what links exist between their goals and your product or service.
You are trying to "Qualify" the person you are talking to.
That means finding out if this person is a serious contender for your products and services?
Step three: Tell them how your products and services might help them
Only now should you bring into conversation your products services.
Put into your conversation the links between what you do, and what he-she wants to do.
Make the link obvious.
Step four: Arrange a future contact time and place
Ask the person for a meeting at a future date where you can talk in depth about his goals and how your product and service can be of help.
Ask him for a specific appointment
- Put it in your diary
- Give him your contact card details
- Have him put the date in his diary or write it down for him
Step five: Ask for a referral
Ask him, who else in the gathering he thinks might be interested in your products or services.
Who else should you speak to?
Step six Move to the next person
Move to the next person and go back to stage one.
Keep good notes
There are three ways to keep notes
- Mental note
Memorise the information as you go.
- Recorded verbal notes into your phone
Most phones have a recording function: record notes into your phone in intervals between conversations.
It will take half a minute but will be invaluable later.
- Written notes
Take a pad and write things down.
Again Note taking is important because you don't want to forget anything important, do you?
For more information on communication skills please see our communication skills training course information.