Networking is at the forefront of any company’s sales strategy. How a company approaches each networking event, however, is unique. We’ve put together a list of strategies that can help any sales team (regardless of the industry or event) network more effectively and efficiently.
Start within your own company
Are there industry experts within your own company that you haven’t really spent much time with? Why? Is it because they’re in marketing and couldn’t possibly have relevant information for sales? Is it because they are your competition?
Networking in your company should be low hanging fruit and you never know what strategies or insights can help shape or inform your approach towards networking, sales etc. Find ways to break bread with your coworkers and establish great partnerships that can further your career.
Know your goals
Some networking experts claim that it’s critical to be narrow and specific with your networking efforts. There’s only so much time you have and two business cards from highly qualified leads can be more valuable than a drawer full of business cards from unqualified leads. Other sales pros will encourage you to not overlook the benefit of networking outside of your industry.
What it all comes down to is this - What do you want/need out of networking? Do you need sales fast? Then it’s probably best to take a more narrow, high percentage approach. Are you looking to boost brand awareness and find unique inspiration to your problems? Then don’t exclude the advice from experts in other industries.
Know your networking goals and devise a strategy that fits those goals.
Give before you demand
Attending a networking event can feel draining and bothersome. You’re instantly going to stand out to a prospect if you don’t jump straight into a Me, Me, Me sales approach right away. Instead, come into a networking event with answers and solutions to your prospect’s problems to gain their attention and ideally trust.
Do your research
If you’re going into an event knowing that a few key prospects are going to be in attendance, it’s important that you acquire as much insight into these prospects and what makes them tick in order to engage with them properly. For new events, even just brushing up on industry and general news can help you honor the golden rule of networking - don’t be boring!
Streamline your networking process with technology
The last thing you want is for a qualified and interested lead to slowly go cold because you didn’t have the right process in place. You should assume every lead you connect with is busier than you. This is where technology can help you create a process for handling unique networking opportunities.
If you have a calendly account, you can always direct leads to schedule a call at THEIR convenience. When setting up these meetings, you can direct leads to a freeconferencecall line or Zoom link for free, yet professional meetings.
The Keep, Evernote Scannable and Drive apps can help you organize contact information for new leads while also jotting down quick notes that could be relevant so you can be agile without skipping a beat.
Be a person and not just an employee
Whether you’re attending an event individually or as part of a sales team, the other attendees are going to gravitate towards people that are authentic and genuine. If your company’s objectives and voice is what is motivating your conversations, it’s likely going to limit your effectiveness. Find ways to represent yourself as a unique and talented sales professional first before you trace the conversation back to your company.
This is especially important if you are attending an event with your sales team. It’s going to get awkward and very disingenuous if a potential prospect has multiple conversations with your team that sound nearly identical.
Another benefit of representing yourself as an individual, rather than just an employee, is that you can focus on ways in which you can achieve personal growth while attending networking events. This will help you become a greater networking commodity that can attract greater leads.
Networking is a key part of sales that opens the door for you to truly engage and persuade leads. Organizing your networking events so that you can enter each new scenario feeling prepared is equally important. WorkTrip offers a user-friendly and comprehensive platform for managing event and travel details with ease. Take a look at our features to see how WorkTrip can simplify your events and business travel.