Do not believe that just because you’ve spent the entire week networking that you can be excused from prospecting.
In reality, I’ve watched so many salespeople employ such a strategy, only to end up failing miserably.
Networking is great! But it doesn’t create the customers I need.
We all network to one degree or another.
I meet a lot of people who I think the world of and with whom I enjoy spending time. I consider these people part of my network. The problem is I can’t rely solely on my network to provide me with the customers I need, no matter how robust my network is.
I’m a firm believer that every salesperson (myself included!) must spend a certain percentage of their time prospecting. What do I mean by prospecting? I mean talking with people to understand their needs and determining how I might be able to fill them.
Sure, this may include making phone calls to people I know, but the point is that such activity is part of a specific prospecting process I use to get business.
You can’t count time spent networking as a prospecting activity.
In the last week, I’ve had more than my share of requests from people I know, asking if I would like to have coffee. I’ve had way too many phone calls from others I know who simply want to talk. I’ve even received dozens of emails from people checking in with me to see how things are going.
All of them are good, and I will be the first to say that I genuinely appreciate all of them. But they’re networking activities, not prospecting.
Read these 5 Ways to Grow Your Sales with Your Network.
I can’t count my time spent networking as prospecting, unless I’ve been straight up with the people with whom I’m meeting that I want to understand their needs and how I can help them.
Every now and then, I believe we need to call something out so it doesn’t become a stumbling block. Doing so allows us to get back to what we need to be doing — closing sales.
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Copyright 2012, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.