Thursday, October 13, 2011

Networking is NOT Sales -- But Sales Without Networking Might Come Up Short

I often have conversations about the differences between marketing, sales, business development, social media, advertising, networking, PR, and branding.  Many have ideas about how to use one of these to fast track success, but I have found they all fit together into what I call "Integrated Visibility".  Each one is a pillar.  While you can remove one or two, if you take them all away the roof falls on your head.

Many people confuse networking with sales.  Networking is NOT sales.  However, sales without networking can come up short.  It is simply a transaction without any long-term meaning.  When we do business with another person it can be the foundation.  But if the purpose is simply to get the sale, and there is not investment in the person, we should not be surprised when our clients referrals and future business go to our competition.

Some argue that they do not have time to invest in the human to human side with everyone they meet.  I believe we must choose people.  Most people you will encounter have very interesting parts to their lives, you simply have to ask questions and listen to the answers.  You will not have an ongoing "love connection" with everybody, but if you are open to it, you will create some powerful friendships along the way.

Every time you are in a sales situation remind yourself that the person on the other side of the transaction is a person... .and all people have a life beyond the product or service being discussed.  If you are interested you will be amazed at what they may bring to your life.

Networking is the creation of long-term and mutually-beneficial relationships between two or more people where everyone involved gains more from the connections than they would without the connections.  It is that simple.  Key words here are "mutually-beneficial", which means you must look for ways to add value to them if you hope they can add value to you.

The best sales people I know are also amazing about sending referrals to their clients.  Hmmmmmmm.

If you are too busy to show you care, you might be missing out on opportunities.

Have A Great Day.

thom singer


Dave Lutz said...

Thom, I like where you're headed with this post! Without a trusting relationship, there rarely is a buy for a non-commodity product.

Referrals are absolutely critical in sales. Your comment about the best sales people you know are amazing about sending referrals to their clients is a wonderful point. In order to get referrals, one needs to give them...and do so without expectation of anything in return.

Have a great weekend!

Brian Sparks said...

You wrote: "Some argue that they do not have time to invest in the human to human side with everyone they meet."

I attended an emergency medicine conference this week where I heard a fascinating talk about patient satisfaction scores. The speaker outlined what made the top 1% of emergency physicians stand out from the crowd. It wasn't their age, height, experience, scripting, posture, or any such thing. Turns out, it came down to whether they spent a few minutes "being present with the patient." Bingo!

As you said: Choose people. And show you care.