Business networking seems so easy. Yet so may accidental sales people fail to generate as many leads as they could from business networking. In this article I list the top 5 reasons I have found for people not generating more sales leads from business networking.
Reason 1 – Insufficient action
Like any other business development activity, there is a direct relationship between action and results. Most networking activity takes time before any results arise and occasionally opportunities arise very quickly. The greater the activity levels the more likely that something arises both in the short term and the longer term.
Reason 2 – Networking for customers rather than advocates
When people network for customers they risk engaging in push selling. Networking for advocates will help avoid this and as a result you are more likely to get lucky. A good advocate is worth 10 customers. If you soften your networking approach you will get both.
Reason 3 – Too generalised
A common trait is to generalise what a business does or to talk about all the different products or services a business offers, rather than focus on one particular item. The more specialised and different you are the more people will both remember you and also think of you rather than someone else when a need arises.
Reason 4 – Not spending enough time developing relationships
Some people spend a lot of time attending networking meetings and exchanging cards but never spend any time nurturing relationships and trust. People do business with people they like and trust. You cannot nurture every relationship but you can nurture selectively based on chemistry. In his book ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ Steven R Covey discusses the concept of the emotional bank account. Spending time developing emotional bank accounts helps to be able to make a withdrawal at some stage.
Reason 5 – Making it difficult for people to help them
People who network well want to help each other and yet most people do not make it easy for other people to help them. They have a weak proposition, or they are not specific how other people can help them, or they ask for too much. The easier you make it for someone to help you, the more they will appreciate it.