Networking is critical for B2B sales people, but often it isn’t nearly as productive as we would like or need it to be. We invest our time in networking events such as chamber meetings, meetups, business card exchanges etc., but often it doesn’t convert to sales.
Yes, I said it…sales. I know, I used that taboo word when it comes to networking, but think about it, did you leave your family at home on a Tuesday night so you could meet your new BFF? Of course not, and neither did the other 42 people in the room. You are all there to get business. The key is, don’t attend the event looking for your next prospect, go with the mindset that you are there to meet people that you can mutually refer business to one another.
Often the follow-up is coffee. So, let’s make that meeting productive!
If you aren’t connected on LinkedIn with your new networking partner, that is your first step, then send this note:
XXX, I am looking forward to our coffee meeting next week. Please feel free to look through my LinkedIn connections and make a list of people that you might want to meet. I will do the same and we can review the list when we are together.
Here is how (by the way, you can copy and send them these steps, they will be so grateful!)
- From their profile, click on their blue connections number (500+)
- This takes you to their connections where you will see a search bar in the top right (click on the magnifying glass)
- Enter the keywords or title of the people you would like to meet ie. “CIO” OR “CTO” OR “IT Director”
- Click advanced in the top left of the box
- Use the left hand side filters to drill down like location and/or industry
- Make a list of who your networking partner knows that you would like to meet
- Review their names when you are together and whittle them down to a select few that are the best fit
- Exchange introduction templates ie.
I would like to introduce you to Brynne Tillman, CEO of Social Sales Link. I thought it might make sense for the two of you to connect and investigate how you might work together. Brynne helps sales professionals build their pipeline, reduce the sales cycle and close more business through leveraging the power of LinkedIn and Social Selling. Brynne’s LinkedIn programs have made a significant impact on the way her professionals are growing their business. Brynne will be contacting you in the next couple of days, please take her call; I believe it will be well worth your time. If you would like to reach out to Brynne, her contact information is: Brynne.Tillman@SocialSalesLink.com | 888.775.5262 http://www.linkedin.com/in/brynnetillman
- Copy your networking partner and each person you are introducing in a LinkedIn message or email with their paragraph, and have them do the same.
- Reply All:Networking Partner, thank you for the introduction. New Person, I am looking forward to speaking with you, learn more about you and your business and explore ways we might be able to work together. I have Monday morning and Thursday afternoon available for a call, what works best for you?