I was recently talking to someone about networking and he exclaimed he was ‘all networked out’. It was not working for him and that he resigned himself to endless cold calls. Whether cold calling was right for him or not is a different matter. I was curious as to how he could be ‘all networked out’. I can never get enough networking and have to limit my time!
After chatting further it turned out that he had no idea of target audience, no idea of a compelling proposition, and yet he was up for cold calling. I admired his pluckiness but was intrigued. If he was doing so much networking then how come he was not starting to get results? (of course I know you need the same ingredients to get fast results at networking too)
‘How many 1-2-1s have you done in the last week?’
‘How many exactly?’
In fact it turns out that he had done precisely zero offline networking meetings, let alone 1-2-1s believing that if he just blogged a bit then customers would be coming in droves. I am sure some types of business can achieve that but definitely not his type of business.
He was all networked out and yet he had not met anyone for a 1-2-1 either face to face or by phone. All he had actually done was send out a number of private messages on an online networking site and he was networked out!!!
I asked him if he would recommend a total stranger to one of his trusted contacts. I asked him if he would do business and part with £1000+ with a total stranger. Of course the answer to both of these questions was no.
‘If you would not do it then what makes you think anyone else will either?!!’ I asked followed by a long pregnant pause for effect! (tough love!!)
I think I got through to him that the sort of trust he needs to get business through referrals only really starts from a 1-2-1 meeting. And that the more you do the more that will begin to happen. Spend the time getting to know each other and deciding whether you like and respect each other and whether there is some form of initial trust.
You can sow loads of seeds but it takes nurturing the stronger ones to get a good crop. Soft Selling is much easier and less stressful than push selling but it does require work in the right places and plenty of it. No bees no honey, no work no money!!