It stands to reason that when you are looking to improve your team's sales performance, it would be helpful to have more prospects. Yes, cold calling is always an option... but it's a painful option.
Think about it. Rock stars don't pick up the phone and randomly call people to buy their albums. They get out into the world, playing gigs, doing interviews, and meeting the fans. The same goes for your business. The best way to meet more potential clients, and more potential brand advocates, is to network.
"Fans are my favorite thing in the world. I've never been the type of artist who has that line drawn between their friends and their fans. The line's always been really blurred for me." - Taylor Swift
But your sales team is tired, and after a long day at work, they just want to go home and be with their families. How do you convince them that networking will help them reach their goals? Here is a guide to discussing networking with your sales team.
You've probably heard the old adage "It's not what you know, it's who you know." This couldn't be any truer. The more "connected" we are through social media and electronic means, the more we yearn for actual human interaction. Networking provides the following benefits to salespeople:
1) New business either directly with your networking contacts or through referrals.
2) Connections to people that you wouldn't normally have access to.
3) Learn new skills. Whether you connect with a new mentor or learn best practices from someone in a similar position, you can really rock your sales.
4) Improve self-esteem by stepping out of your comfort zone and speaking to people you wouldn't normally speak to. This will boost your confidence for making those dreaded cold calls, and making sales presentations to interested potential customers.
5) Create friendships. While the end goal may be to connect with potential clients or customers, you never know when you'll actually be connecting with potential friends.
Now that you've convinced your employees that networking will improve their sales and help them reach their goals, it's time to provide some tips for your sales team to make the most out of their networking time.
Some people feel the need to fill periods of silence and some just talk when they're nervous. But speaking more than you listen is a sure way to bomb at your next networking event. When you listen, you learn about the other person and what pains they are experiencing, not to mention what clientele they come into contact with on a daily basis. You'll learn if you're talking to your ideal client, or if they have access to them.
If you approach someone as a salesperson, the only impression you'll make is "annoying." If you connect with them on common interests or experiences, you will be remembered as likable and friendly. This opens the door to sales and referrals at a later date.
It's always better to give than to receive. Ask the person who they'd like to be introduced to. Who is their ideal client? How can you help them to increase their business? The more helpful you are, the more likely they will be to refer you at a future date.
If you've taken the first 3 tips to heart, the person you're speaking with will likely ask how they can help you. The easier you make it for them, the more likely they will be to identify and introduce your ideal client. Be specific. What industry do you prefer to work with? Demographic? Problem that you solve? Marvelless Mark® tells his clients that you need to be able to answer the key question: "Who wants what we have to offer?"
You've made a great connection at an event. Now what? Instead of just drowning in business cards and considering it a success, email or call the people you'd like to get to know and invite them out for coffee. The stronger the relationship you build, the more help you can be to them and the more likely they'll be to help you with your business.
When done properly, networking is one of the best ways for your sales team to meet their goals, increase their sales performance, and reach the rock star results you're looking for. Stop selling and start building relationships.
Mark Kamp® aka Marvelless Mark® works with organizations who want their teams to achieve immediate rock star results. A Keynote Speaker/Entertainer/Author, Husband, Father, and child of God, his primary message, “Opportunity Rocks®” gives attendees a fresh new perspective on Sales, Marketing, and Employee Performance. Fun and engaging, Mark combines the success secrets of your favorite rock stars with just the right amount of entertainment to transform your employees into business rockstars. Learn more at www.OpportunityRocks.net.