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Two Steps to Make Your Networking a Sell-Free Zone  E-mail

Lately, everywhere we look, from the in-flight magazine in our
front seat pocket to the Style section of The Sunday Denver Post we
notice an article on networking, the right way to network, the
wrong way to network, what it is, what it isn't, how to, how not
to, and more. 

We've decided it's high time to weigh in with our own personal
networking pet peeve: mixing networking and selling.

Networking IS NOT selling!  Haven't you ever noticed that when you
go to a networking event most people are there to promote what they
do and few, if any, are there to buy?  If you attempt to close
sales at a networking event, you will most likely leave
disappointed and frustrated while at the same time alienating the
people you meet. 

In the past two weeks we've had 3 different clients come to us with
negative networking stories, all of which involved someone trying
to sell them either at the event or the next day.  One person said
she doesn't like to give out her cards for fear that she will
receive a slew of sales calls for things she has no interest in. 

So what's a savvy networker to do?
Focus on building relationships while training a sales force.

#1. Networking is about building relationships.  You network to
meet people who get to know you - and your service or product  - so
they can help you grow your business and even more important, YOU
can help them grow their business  - by sharing referrals,
resources, ideas and information.  The best way to be an expert
networker is to be an expert resource for others. 

#2. Networking is about educating people, not about selling to
them.  The people you meet networking are your sales force. With a
little training, they'll help spread the word about your business.
To do this, they not only need to know, like, and trust you, they
also need to recognize who is a good prospect for you and be able
to tell that prospect what exactly it is that you do.  You need to
clearly articulate who your clients are, what problems they face,
and what solutions you provide and do it in such a way that when
your sales force meets a good prospect for you, they respond with
"Hey, I know someone who can help you with that!" 

Remember, networking is not about closing a sale.  Focus on the two
steps listed above and you'll not only generate more business from
your networking, you'll enjoy yourself more in the process. 



You are welcome to reprint and distribute copies of our articles provided you follow our reprint guidelines .   

Copyright © 2012, The Networking Gurus, Donna Feldman and Cindy Rold.

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