Networking: Working the Numbers
Salespeople are often taught that sales is a 'numbers' game. Master Networkers have some demographic knowledge too. Use these numbers to gauge your success at an open networking event:
1: SPEAK WITH SIX TO TEN PEOPLE AN HOUR:
After a two hour open networking event check your pocket. You win if you have at least twelve, but not more than 20 business cards. If you haven't met at least twelve people in two hours you were smoozing with friends, not networking. If you collected more than 20 cards your conversations weren't long enough for people to remember you when you follow through with them. Speak with each person you meet for six to 10 minutes. Long enough to have a conversation.
2: HALF OF THE PEOPLE YOU SPEAK WITH ARE PROSPECTS:
It is unreasonable to think that you will sell your product to everyone you meet. Some people may want it, but are unable to afford it; some people may need it, but don't want it. Know that about half of the people you speak with are prospective clients. If you have 12 cards, six of those people are waiting to hear from you. Follow through quickly.
3: HALF OF THE PROSPECTS ARE IN THE IMMEDIATE MARKET
FOR YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE:
If you met 12 people, and half of them, six, are prospects, then know that half of the prospects, or three of the people you met, are in the immediate market for your product or service. If your closing rate is 50% that means you'll net one or two new clients from the two hours you spent meeting 12 new people, and following through with each of them.
Two new clients in two hours?
That's networking success.
Network and prosper
Wendy L. Kinney is a speaker who focuses on networking skills and referral based marketing systems. Her keynote Networking Aerobics: CardioVascular Activity for Your Wallet gives business owners and sales people effective skills for open networking events. For more information on how to make networking work for you, contact Kinney via phone at 404-784-0699, fax at 404-816-8685, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org