I was reading a discussion in a Linked in group recently about how to make networking more effective…. or perhaps, I say, how to turn your elevator speech into an effective ‘sales pitch’. In what turned out to be a very popular discussion thread, it transpired that some people do achieve quick sales at networking events. Others are desperate to find out the secrets of how to do it. And they all share the belief that a quick sale is evidence that their networking is working.
One of the effects of the recession seems to be that fewer businesses are willing to buy any products or services that aren’t strictly necessary. With potential clients being cautious, the pressure on the seller increases. When they don’t achieve results, they wonder how they can improve their techniques to ensure they source new business and do so consistently.
Businesses that concentrate on sales rather than people, could be putting off potential clients, not just on that first occasion, but potentially forever!
They may want or need your service or product at some point, but will stop being interested in you, the minute you try to sell to them. They will then forget about you and if you approach them again, you will reinforce their decision to ‘never’ buy from you, no matter what you do.
Imagine this scenario: when they need your service or product or their cash flow improves, they will be looking for a product or service such as yours, but elsewhere!
OK, so I hear you say that you do manage to sell easily at networking meetings, but my question to you would be, how much repeat business do you get from your buyers?
The majority of people in my network will rarely buy a second time if they’ve been rushed into a decision. Indeed, usually they buy from new contacts only after they’ve got to know them better, understood how they work, who has used them before and who would trust them and stay with them as customers or clients.
One of the effects of the recession is that businesses are far more cautious when buying. Therefore, building up trust is so crucial in business as it also helps to prevent disappointments and costly mistakes.
Another crucial key factor in business is whether you actually ‘like’ someone. I appreciate that this may not sound very businesslike to some. Without a personal connection and a sense of trust, however, business relationships can be as difficult to grow and maintain as a personal relationship, if not impossible!
Personally my best business comes from my best and most long-term business relationships and this is without doubt a win-win situation for both parties….need I say more?
Ute Wieczorek-King is an experienced trainer, mentor and business coach who specialises in helping busy women to be more more focused, efficient, productive and profitable in business. Ute runs Success Network, a business support organisation for women, and more of her articles are available to download from http://www.successnetwork.org.uk/articles.htm