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Making Your Net Work Part 1
Guest articles > Making Your Net Work Part 1
by: Daniel Milstein
In order to succeed in sales, you must network. You must be unique, selfless, meet as many people as you can, and find effective networking tools. If you do this, the long list of referrals will come your way.
Business cards are a waste of time. I will clarify that rather bold statement. I believe that business cards are overrated as an effective networking tool. Salespeople (and others) typically hand out their cards at every opportunity--social functions, business meetings, golf courses and grocery stores--expecting that recipients will add them to their database as a reminder to call with referrals. Salespeople have used a wide variety of creative approaches to attract attention, including jumbo size cards and video cards. Of course, some business cards are discarded right away, others are put in a desk drawer or Rolodex file, and a few are kept for more immediate attention.
The salesperson introduction/referral request letter is another overrated, and potentially abused, networking strategy. New salespeople typically send them to relatives, high school and college classmates, former neighbors, barber, dentist, and everyone else as a way to generate immediate business. The problem with this approach is that many prospective clients don't want to be the novice salesperson's first sale. Perhaps she has just graduated from college and is now an insurance company trainee. Or he has been working as a teacher and switched to real estate. In many cases, their various network contacts would prefer they had some experience. In several instances a relative has actually asked me, rather than their niece or nephew, to handle a home purchase. Of course, once the originator was established, they could gain their relative's future business.
The point is that you have to build your network carefully; it is not an overnight process. There is definitely a place for business cards and the introduction letter in your overall networking strategy, but you need to be selective and make sure the timing is right.
Daniel Milstein is the bestselling author of ABC of Sales. For more information, visit: http://amzn.to/ABCARTICLES.
Contributor: Daniel Milstein
Published here on: 07-Jul-13