I have been in some sort of sales most of my career. After graduating college, I was trained by various companies on “how to sell”, and was told that it was a “numbers game.” So, naturally I applied my newfound knowledge when I started networking.
I had a quota to meet.
Collect so many cards, to make so many calls to meet with so many people to produce so much results.
Even though the concept might be right, what was always missed in those trainings was how to develop a relationship and connect with other professionals. Here is the thing – if you feel obligated to share information about your business or listen to someone else’s sales pitch, then you are not really engaging in a true conversation, are you? And then when you leave that event, aren’t you exhausted? And most of all, the next day what exactly do you do with those business cards you so diligently collected?
The truth is, business will happen naturally when we go back to the basics and establish a relationship. What exactly does that look like? Here is my next tip:
TIP #2: We have already established that you have a conversation and start it with easy open ended questions. Then you focus on active listening. Sometimes what happens is that we are so eager to share something that we forget to be an active listener and are eager to start talking. So next time, when you start a conversation, focus on what the person is saying. You can interject and ask questions about THEM and the topic THEY are talking about. It is interesting what will happen next. Once that person is done, they will naturally ask you what you do. This tip seems so simple but trust me, it is not done enough. Connecting is about conversing and building a relationship; it is a two-way conversation rather than a one-way presentation. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this one.