Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Direct Selling Versus Networking

Direct Selling Versus Networking
How many of you have attended a networking event hoping to do some business or maybe even make a sale? How many of you have attended a networking event hoping to buy something?

This is called networking disconnect. It is ironic that people are so “disconnected” about a process that’s intended to be about connecting people. This kind of disconnect leads to poor results, which in turn leads people to believe that networking doesn’t work.

Do not confuse direct selling with networking. But someone will say, “Franklin, I’ve made a sale before by attending a networking event." I’m not saying it doesn’t ever happen, but it occurs about as often as a solar eclipse, and you’re wrong if you think the odds are in your favor to “sell” at a networking event.

So why go to a networking meeting? It’s more about farming than hunting. Sometimes you go to increase your visibility and to connect with people you have never met. Sometimes you go to establish further credibility with people you know. In any case, the true master networkers know that networking events are about moving through the relationship process and not just about closing deals. Visibility leads to credibility, which, with time and effort, leads to profitability.

Here are five things to remember when attending networking events:

1) Don’t go there to sell, go there to connect.
2) Have meaningful conversations with people you meet.
3) Follow up with people you found interesting or who you can help in some way. Don’t follow up to sell them something.
4) Meet these people in a one-to-one setting, learn more about them, and ask them “How can I help you?”
5) Go for the long-term relationship, not the short sale.

Good luck!

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