Working in sales is all about the people that you know. For salespeople, networking events are crucial to finding new contacts and leads. For any professional, there are plenty of benefits to attending networking events, but it can be even more beneficial for those working in sales. Read on for five ways salespeople can use networking events for their benefit.
Searching for the right networking event? The best networking event is one that is selectively chosen after a fair amount of research. Being selective about which networking events to go to help interested individuals establish real connections and relationships rather, instead of one-off first-time meetings. For a busy professional, it can be difficult to attend even a few networking events in your area, so it’s important to selectively choose which ones you give your time to.
Learn, look, and listen
Networking events for first-timers can be nerve-wracking. To make the process easier, it helps to practice the art of learning, looking, and listening. Paying attention to how others speak and act at these events allows newbies to feel more comfortable networking.
Moreover, networking events should be viewed as learning opportunities. The more you network, the more you learn, and the better work and life experience you’ll obtain.
Fine-tune your message
Networking events are the perfect opportunity to fine-tune your message as a sales professional. This message is essentially the short, 30-second breakdown of everything a person does, who they are, and why they are looking to connect with others; basically, your elevator pitch. While putting together this message can be nerve-wracking at first, over time, it becomes easier and easier to share.
Become an industry leader
Time is precious. At networking events, other people aren’t interested in talking to someone that doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Someone that speaks from a place of intimate knowledge and expertise always garners more interest than someone that is unsure of themselves or their career. This attitude is why it is important to really come across as an expert and professional in your conversations during networking events.
Focus on visibility
While part of the battle of networking is choosing which events to go to, the rest
is actually showing up. Individuals that are hoping to use networking to make connections must do more than attend a single networking event. While you may be able to make good contacts at one event, it is also important to use these events to build your visibility. Individuals that attend other events frequently are more likely to be accepted by other potential contacts.
The art of building your network takes time and dedication. Sales professionals can practice these five strategies to expand their networking skills and grow their careers.