Sunday, December 1, 2013

All About Networking

Networking is always a hot topic among sales professionals, so there's no surprise it was discussed at the Nov. 13 Erie Sales Club workshop. Attendees shared several interesting ideas and points on this subject.
  • Attending face-to-face events is a must, especially for local salespeople. You need to carve out time in your schedule to attend these events.
  • Networking at the event is just step number one. Step number two takes place after the event: always get in touch with people you met at the event to explore a possible partnership moving forward.
  • For networking events such as the Erie Sales Club, Erie Chamber Business After Hours and Erie Small Business Alliance, make sure you are an asset to the group. Beyond participating in discussions, volunteer to help the organization such as being the greeter at the door.
  • Related to the previous point: don't over-promise and under-deliver. If you volunteer for the organization, be sure to follow through on your commitment.
  • Building relationships takes time. Don't just attend one networking event and then decide to never attend another because you didn't generate immediate sales.
  • One easy first step to connect after networking events is on LinkedIn. Find people you met, then send a personalized message asking them to connect with you. Follow-up with a phone call after you've connected.
  • You can also network by joining a group on LinkedIn and then connecting with fellow group members. The cost to do this? Free.
The Erie Sales Club is a joint effort of four leading local businesses: Jameson Publishing, Marsha Marsh Real Estate Services, VertMarkets, and Howland Peterson Consulting.