Networking is a popular buzzword these days. Every blogger seems to be talking about Networking, Buzz Marketing and Word of Mouth Marketing. However, not many of them seem to be presenting specific strategies for making the most of local networking groups. This is why I decided to write this article.
There are a variety of organizations that run networking groups across the country. The largest group is probably BNI, which offers members the chance to attend weekly meetings and develop new professional relationships to help them grow their business. some chambers of commerce are now organizing “leads groups” for their members as well. These groups are intended to offer members a way to connect with each other and potentially refer each other business.
In most “leads groups” each group allows no more then one representative from any industry, so if the group has a mortgage broker other mortgage brokers have to join another group or wait for the seat to open up. The idea is that by restricting membership, you eliminate competition within the group.
How to Build Great Relationships through Cold Calling
Sometimes the finest solutions are the simplest. Focusing on relationships when making cold calls is one of them. It keeps us genuine, and eliminates our dread of making cold calls. We’re real people talking about real things. We’re interested in the conversation, and it shows.
Most of us dislike putting on our “salesperson persona” when we make cold calls. We think it’s needed, however, because we’ve been trained to make the sale. And yet we’re interacting with a live, breathing person without having any real connection to him or her. It often feels fake, and it often is.
This artificial role puts a great stress on us, and sabotages our cold calling conversations. When we aren’t genuine, it’s a red flag to the other person that we have a sales agenda. This puts nearly everyone “on guard.” They’ve never met us and are wary of possibly being manipulated.
Have you ever noticed that most cold calls break down the moment we try to “move” things along towards a sale? It’s as if we’re getting ready for battle, and the tension pushes us along.
A Tickler File For Sales And Networking
If you are involved in sales, fundraising or just an active networker, you have probably tried a variety of tools to manage your contact list and remind yourself to stay in touch with all of the prospects and people you meet. This tickler file is designed to be an inexpensive, effective, tool that can be used by salespeople in a variety of different types of organizations.
This tickler file uses inexpensive index cards and a simple file box. You will need the following items to create your own index card sales tool. I found everything I needed at my local office supply store. The total cost was around $25.00.
– A box to store the index cards
– Monthly 3″ by 5″ index tabs
– Daily (1-31) 3″ by 5″ index tabs
– Alphabetical 3″ by 5″ index tabs
– A ton of white ruled 3″ by 5″ index cards (you don’t need a photo, right?)
– A bunch of colored 3″ by 5″ index cards (pick your favorite color)
– A small case to carry your in your pocket