Networking produces leads, contacts, and C-Level relationships better than anything. So use your resources. You know people that know people who can get you to where you want to be. However you have to stop and think about this for a minute because you’re not used to using these contacts. Once you start to think about who you know, you’ll be amazed at how many resources you have.
Now phone someone you know and ask for help rather than trying to make your introduction by yourself. Reach out to people you know and they will make introductions smooth and welcomed. Ask and you shall receive. Don’t ask for introductions and you won’t get them.
Common Situations - Cold Calling or Trying to Get to Hard-to-See Executives
Most people suffer the rejection and futility of cold calling admins because they hate to ask people they know for help. What happens is they get nowhere slowly. Even worse, the constant rejection causes them to totally avoid prospecting for new opportunities and clients. As a result sales slump which makes salespeople feel worse. They become desperate and make more cold calls and the downward rejection cycle continues.
Now here are some tips to get your networking process going.
1. Identify and write down your target accounts and existing accounts on paper or an Excel file. Don’t try to do this in your head.
2. Now, ask yourself, “Who do I want to get to”. Write that down. If you don’t have a name, be specific with a title or job responsibility. Now follow that up with “Who do I know that knows someone like that in that company;” for example, an IT person at ABC Company?” This is where you have to think, but keep asking yourself, and sooner than later an answer will come - guaranteed. If you don’t blatantly ask yourself, the ideas won’t come to you. This is also guaranteed. Record these names or ideas.
3. Ask others for help! Get over you’re inhibitions. People do not mind helping other people, especially those they know. Look to people in your company, to people in the target account, to other complimentary vendors you know. Call a sales person in the target account and say, “Can you help me?” Sales people are usually willing to help other sales people.
4. Be specific about the person you want to meet, when asking for help. I.e. “Do you know an IT person at ABC that’s involved in financial systems software design?” Or say to a vendor of a complimentary service, “When you sold the security software system, who approved it and who got involved with the software interfacing?”
5. Ask your contact to make your introduction – either by phone or in person, not email. If you ask they will probably do it. This will get you past gatekeepers and get your voicemail messages returned. Do not just get a name. Names won’t get you a meeting. Be sure to prep you contact on what to say when introducing you.
6. Stop cold calling. It’s non productive busy work. It’s a waste of time, and worse, it’s demotivating. Cold calling either makes you feel you’re doing something useful, which you’re not, or it makes you feel nobody wants what you’ve got to offer, which again is not true.
Now Prepare Yourself to Take It to the Streets
1. Pick one target account. Who can you call to network you or give you useful information? Check existing customers, consultants, other vendors, sales people and people within your own company?
2. Now pick one existing account. Who can you call in that account or elsewhere who can network you to a higher level person so you can start building a higher level relationship? Think of people you’ve worked with, or service people in your company who’ve worked with the account’s people.
3. What will you say? Write the exact words, i.e. “Can you help me? I’d like to meet ….” Be as specific as possible about who, or what type of position the person you want is in. Tell him or her why you want to meet this person and what to say to introduce you.
4. Finally, practice saying it in front of a mirror until you feel confident. Then make those two networking calls.
As an Example
Recently I wanted to get to the Senior VP of Callaway golf. I saw an ad that made me think there may be an opportunity for me to do some sales consulting for them. So instead of calling directly, I called my club pro and explained what I was doing. He gave me the name of his Callaway rep and his telephone number. But, then I asked my golf pro to call this rep, introduce me and tell him I’d be calling him to ask a few questions about the ad I saw. I also called a friend who rep’s a competitive line. I explained what I was doing and asked my friend for some background info on Callaway and the golf industry.
After my golf pro called to introduce me, I called the local sales rep and he gave me the VP’s name and explained the details of the ad. He was not open to calling the VP for me so I sent a copy of my book and a letter. In my heart I knew this was a long shot. I didn’t get a call back so I followed-up. His admin confirmed receipt, but again, no call back. I didn’t get anywhere, because I gave-up. I took the passive / easy way out. I didn’t stay proactive / keep networking to find someone to introduce me.
The moral of the story is that if you want something badly enough, you have to find people you know, that know people that can network you in. And then, ask them to introduce you to whom you want to meet. It works a lot better than cold calling and it’s a sure fire way to get you to the leaders in your clients’ companies.
And now I invite you to learn more.
Bonus Tip: FREE E-Book “Getting Past Gatekeepers and Handling Blockers” plus FREE TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER$ CD OFFER. Also, learn how to handle 25 tough selling situations and 25 difficult closing problems with my TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER$ Problem Solving Manual
Sam Manfer is the leading expert on selling to CEO’s and other influential people – doctors, gov’t officials, etc. Sam is a sales strategist, entertaining key note speaker and author of TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER$, The Complete Guide to C-Level Selling. That is, getting to and influencing top level decision-makers. Sam makes it easy for any sales person to generate quality leads, and become a 70% closer. Grab your FREE E-Books, Videos, Articles and other Advanced Sales Training Tips at www.sammanfer.com
Bonus Tip: FREE E-book “Getting Past Gatekeepers and Handling Blockers”
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