So…You Hate Networking: Here is how you can have fun build relationships and make it work.
For many people, going to a networking event is painful. In part because it sometimes feels like people are just handing out cards, looking for a deal. Although I have to say that many of the events I have attended recently I have not seen that.
Another reason that people don’t like networking events is that they are uncomfortable with networking. That is, connecting at a genuine level with someone else to see if there might be a relationship. They don’t know what to say or what to do.
I get it. When I started in my career, I would get my drink and hunker right up to the wall to see what was what. After a career in sales and many years in Toastmasters, I now can have a conversation with almost any willing participant. Here are some ideas that may help you at your next networking event.
First, what is the event and who are the people that will be there? (If you can get their names great, if not, ask yourself what industries are they in, what is the common interest?) Then think through your introduction and practice, yes practice. Trust me when I tell you the naturals were not natural when they started.
“Hi, my name is John Gies with RAS-Squared, what brings you to this gathering of conscious business leaders?”
So, what happens after they have answered that question? There are a few areas of conversation that are always safe to explore at a networking event.
- How did you get involved in… (the industry, their company, this gathering)?
- What kinds of clients are you looking to meet?
- Have you done any interesting travel lately? (If they have they will enjoy telling you)
- Where do you want to go next in your career?
- What books, or movies have captured your interest lately?
- Where do you like to go here in town for dinner, lunch, coffee? (As a coffee lover, I love discovering new coffee shops)
Dale Carnegie said it over 80 years ago, “show sincere interest in others and be a good listener.” This is the way to win friends and influence people.
Once you have made a connection and feel like there is potential, it is time to move on. You can say something like, “I really enjoyed meeting you, do you think we should schedule a call to see if there is a way we can help each other?” Then it is time to move on and make another connection.
I never recommend making a pitch. That is what turns off so many people from these networking events. I once saw a mature sales executive block a potential buyer literally in a corner until he could score an appointment. He got the appointment and I will wager he never got the deal.
Patience… if you make a real and genuine connection and nurture it, there will come a time where they will want to know how they can help you.
So, to recap:
- Know your audience (what is the common interest of the group)
- Prepare and practice an introduction (Your names and a question for them)
- Open a conversation and connect
- Ask and answer the question, “Should we connect further”?
- Don’t make a pitch make a connection.
If you would like to learn how you or your team can benefit from better communication skills for accountability, engagement and performance, schedule a call with John to explore the possibilities. CALENDAR
How important is it to have the right salesperson with the right account?
In a previous post, we talked about making first contact with your ideal clients and how to make a great first impression. Today we’re going to talk about feeling out the personality of your ideal clients to match the right salesperson to the client or prospect.
You need to do this in two steps:
- Profile your salespeople’s personalities.
- Match the right salesperson to your target prospect/client.
There are essentially three different selling personalities:
The Guide brings knowledge, experience, comfort, and trust. They can make a concerned conservative client feel at ease. For them to be successful, they want plenty of information, a demo of the product/service, references, and case studies, if possible.
Just like it sounds, The Buddy shines at building relationships. They instantly relate to the prospective client and make them seem like old friends almost immediately. They deliver the best results with clients who are looking for friendship, information, and in a similar peer group as the salesperson. This can include anything from age and culture to hobbies and nightlife. This sharing experiences can be beneficial to creating a new relationship, but The Buddy must always keep it professional. The resource’s this personality type needs is help in pairing with the right client, entertainment budget, and the right information to meet the client’s needs.
I had a Buddy working for me. He knew everyone. He made very few direct sales calls. They were mostly entertainment calls where business was discussed. He could get meetings no one else could and he made it rain.
Obviously, The Determined is a little more assertive than the others. They are concerned about business and the bottom line. While this may seem a little direct, there are owners and prospects out there that want the same thing and respect someone who can get down to business and the benefits of a partnership. The Determined will need to be trusted with a little authority as they will likely be closing deals on the spot. You will want to provide them with plenty of resources and access to products and services. They work best in environments where they can work independently, exercise their independent discretion, and seal deals quickly.
All of these types can deliver the results you need when each is used in the right environment. You can see how matching the right salesperson for the client can secure more ideal clients and for a longer period of time.
If you need help figuring out how to drive more sales for New Clients, New Revenue, and New Profits, check out the resources at RAS-Squared.com.
Don’t Make These Mistakes
There are a couple of big mistakes you can make that will kill a deal with a big fish. They are:
- Not meeting the client’s expectations
- Mishandling a client crisis
Chasing a big deal is a lot of work. And when you do you want to pay close attention to your process. There are mistakes you don’t want to make. They can cost you the deal and, in some cases, the survival of your company.
Not Meeting Client’s Expectations
Be careful what you promise in a negotiation. I have seen too many sales people and business owners get enthused and over promise. And then later when they under-deliver, they wonder why they lost the deal.
These expectations are not only about the negotiations though. They are also about how your potential client expects you to show up. They expect you to be professional, to have a clear understanding of the problem they want to solve AND to have a solution map started.
To avoid these mistakes, you need a clear plan of action put into place.
- Think before you speak.
- Take a breath.
- Practice and perfect your process.
- Stay involved throughout the entire process.
- Make sure both parties define success.
Mishandling a Client Crisis
Things go wrong. The way you deal with this can set you up for long term success or kill the relationship. You want to respond quickly and effectively. More importantly, you want to solve the client’s problem.
Years ago, I had trouble with a client in Fort Worth. The firm I was with was struggling to meet the clients’ expectations. After three hand-on attempts, I offered to help him find our replacement. The upshot? A few years later when the buyer was at another account, he reached out to me to help him solve the problem because he knew how I would deal with the problems that are inherent in any relationship.
Here are some tips that can help you deal with any client crisis:
- Take responsibility and apologize no matter who is at fault.
- Act swiftly and effectively.
- Step in and take control of the situation.
- Never point fingers or place blame.
- Stay in constant communication with your client.
- Stay calm throughout the situation.
- Keep your eye on the ball.
The way you manage expectations and crisis will be a major factor in your success. If you would like more resources, look at our resource page https://ras-squared.com/products or reach out and let’s chat. John.firstname.lastname@example.org
Dedicated to Your success
Help Your Team Graduate to The Big Clients
Most professional services want to land the big clients,
that will sustain and grow your business over the long run. Let’s learn to understand and think like a big company and how that can help you plan your approach and find success.
Before you can start landing big clients, you have to ensure that your team is onboard with your approach and vision. There are some steps to big client success. They are:
- Your First Impression: You have one shot to land a big client. If you make a mistake, you are out. Don’t give them a reason to doubt you or your abilities.
- They Are A Priority: The Big Client should always feel like they are your first priority. Returns their calls and emails immediately.
- Be Flexible: You need to be flexible in your negotiations. If they want a special service or for you to customize a solution, say yes. A little hassle now will be a big pay off later.
- Think Long-term: This goes along with the last one a bit. As you are approaching and negotiating with big clients you need to think about the long-term benefits for your business. If you go for a one-time big score, you will lose their interest. This requires nurturing.
- Have Fun: Clients like working with people that are having fun. You are sharing your vision with new people and including them in your future success and likewise. You are contagious and your enthusiasm and confidence will attract the big clients.
- Think of Ways to Help Them: If you invest time and offer your clients ways to save money or time by introducing them to potential business partners, this will demonstrate that you are invested and interested them and in their business..
Here are a few tactics you can use to bring in a big company vision to the people on your team. You can:
- Post these keys for all to see.
- Put together a performance-based incentive program.
- Conduct frequent team meetings.
- Put together a training and certification program based on the keys above.
These ideas should help you instill a big-company mindset throughout your company which will help you be more prepared and more likely to land your big clients. When your team is thinking this way, you’ll be unstoppable.
If you would like some help crafting an incentive program or other way to push your team toward the big company mindset, try our GUIDED TOUR to work with one of our coaches or check out our resources and tools.
Direct Mail and Telemarketing the Dynamic Duo for Success
Today you’ll learn how to use direct mail, and telemarketing to your full advantage. Some would say “telemarketing” is considered a four-letter word. If done right, your customers feel valued and not just abused!
Direct mail and Digital marketing can reach your customer at a very low cost. And for lower-priced items, it can be a simple message, offer, and close. As the price of your offering goes up, telemarketing becomes a bit more effective. It fosters a dialog and not a broadcast.
Here are some steps to putting together an effective direct mail marketing program:
- List the benefits your clients will get from the purchase of your products and services.
- Which one is the most powerful benefit?
- Build your headline around the most powerful benefit. Use emotional hot buttons like Wealth, Success, Time Savings, Beauty, Youth, etc…
- Develop your sales letter using the headline you created to capture their attention, provide information, and inspire your clients to act.
- Put together additional collateral, such as a brochure, order form, reply envelope, or note that encourages them to read the letter.
- Then you can rent or purchase a mailing list.
- Evaluate the cost of mailing vs. cost per order.
- Continue to test and calibrate your direct mail marketing plan.
Direct mail and digital marketing can help you attract a local or even country-wide target market to send letters, postcards, and messages to attract new clientele and customers.
To be successful in telemarketing you need to:
- Start with the end in mind. What do you want to accomplish? Now put together a plan, so you know exactly what you want to accomplish during the call.
- Develop a list of talking points and questions to help lead the conversation while allowing your client to feel heard and understood.
- Always check to see if you are calling at a good time.
- Include questions to keep the conversation moving, but be careful, don’t make them feel like you are interrogating them.
- Start with open-ended questions and narrow your focus as the conversation continues.
- Use Active Listening Skills to show them you are paying attention and appreciate their time.
- Do NOT insult their intelligence or try to manipulate them. They will know that and terminate the call.
- Listen and seek to understand first, talk second.
- Be relaxed and conversational.
Telemarketing doesn’t have to be painful or irritating. You can put together an effective campaign by focusing on serving the potential customer. Yes, you want the sale but if that is what drives your conversation, you will drive them away. Be honest, be genuine, be helpful and watch them respond in kind.
“When selling by telephone, you have approximately thirty seconds to convince the customer to listen to you. You need an opening statement that captures their attention, conveys who you are, what you want, and why the prospect should listen.” Jay Abraham
Hence the need to continually refine and target your Market Dominating Position and message with the client in mind, not yourself.
If you would like more resources, you can visit https://ras-squared.com