How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
Making Your Net Work Part 6
Guest articles > Making Your Net Work Part 6
by: Daniel Milstein
As a sales professional, your success relies on your ability to network and make a list of contacts. When expanding your base network, you must determine what approach works best for you.
I have never been a big supporter of formal networking groups that meet on a weekly basis and whose members share leads with each other. I know that many business professionals think they are a sure method of developing referrals and that's fine if it works for them. Because of the pressure to provide referrals, they are often given without a great deal of thought and tend to be unqualified, so the meetings could be a waste of time. I am certainly not denigrating the overall effectiveness of such groups. The challenge is to be certain that the leads you do receive are worthwhile and that membership in a particular group helps you continue to expand your business. I also know several salespeople who have formed their own, more informal network associations. One extremely successful salesperson joined a group that seemed to offer several advantages.
'The group I belong to includes an attorney, CPA, real estate agent, insurance agent and a financial planner,' he said. 'We meet informally, two or three times a year, usually for lunch. Most of the lunch is fun time, with a bit of business. We exchange information concerning what is happening in each of our areas of knowledge and expertise. We all use each other's services, and continue to refer clients to each other. This network group has been ongoing for at least eight years.' The benefits are obvious. 'Not only is there an exchange of tangible business clients, but if I need a tax question answered, I can always count on a timely response from my tax contact, or for a legal question, I will get a direct line to my attorney without waiting. The other benefit is that each of us has contacts with other people, such as contractors, plumbers, or repair people that can complement our business, and enable each of us to help our client base when requested. When I close a loan, I hand my client a group of business cards from this informal group and explain how I know this group of professionals will help if they need their service. I call this my Trust Group. It works and my borrowers have commented on what a great idea it is.'
Each salesperson is different in their networking approach. You must find what works best for you and expand your web from there.
Daniel Milstein is the bestselling author of ABC of Sales. For more information, visit: http://amzn.to/ABCARTICLES.
Contributor: Daniel Milstein
Published here on: 11-Aug-13