Do not go where the path may lead;
go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson
- Setting Up a Networking Meeting—Following is some suggested dialogue for getting a networking meeting set up.
Hi, Mr. Smith, this is Eleanor Sweet. Do you have a real quick minute or have I caught you at a bad time?
This opener sets the tone by showing you respect the person you are speaking with and their time. From the get-go, you
establish that you're interested in them and not just yourself.
Ask them for 15 to 20 minutes of their time. Be upfront that you are hoping they can introduce you to people who might be able to provide advice.
I just want you to know that I do not expect a favor of any kind. I have learned that you know a lot about this industry/product category. I am hoping you could provide me with some helpful information. I would appreciate that very much. Would you be able to give me 15 to 20 minutes tomorrow morning around 8:15 A.M.? Or Wednesday afternoon around 1:15 P.M.?
Listen; do not interrupt. Notice that you are offering an alternate time from the first one. By doing so, you are subtly asking your contact to choose one of the two times. This approach increases your odds for getting a "meeting" commitment.
Make sure you're the last one to hang up the phone at the end of the conversation. By hanging up last, you are leaving the caller with a good feeling about both you and the call. Then call the day before the meeting to confirm.
- The Meeting—Get to the meeting 10 minutes early. Do not stay beyond the timeframe you initially set up.
Again, do not ask for an opportunity. If a problem is mentioned during your meeting that you can solve, casually mention what you can do that will benefit the company relative to that problem, in terms of your company’s product or service.. Then back off from the situation. (You can reiterate your benefit and value in your thank-you letter.)
You can also use the following verbiage in your meeting.
"Is there someone perhaps I have not thought of you think I should be networking with who might be able to help me?
May I use your name?"
Again, this comment expresses your respect for the individual and their relationship with you.
Keep track of honoring the time commitment you have set up. If they ask you to stay beyond the specified time period, that is fine . . . but only if they are doing the asking.
Most importantly, you want to show your networking contacts that you respect their time and that you honor your commitments. You do not want to run over the time allotted for the meeting.
Prior to leaving, ask them, "Is there anything I can do for you?" Find out if they have any needs of ANY kind with which you might be able to help. You want them to know you care about them as a person. You don't want to leave the impression that you are just taking business lead ideas for yourself.
People tend to like people who help them. As such, they will make more of an effort to help those individuals they like. By helping them first, you are subtly persuading people to help you.
Once you've established a basic level of camaraderie, tell them you would like to send them a copy of your business card and product brochure, to have on file. Don't be presumptuous. Ask them if that would be all right. If they say yes, ask them if they would prefer to receive it via email, mail, or fax.
Mention that you will keep them informed of the results that arise from your new business search. This is a subtle way to keep the door open and to continue building both the relationship and the acceptability to call them again.
Before you part ways, thank your contact verbally for their time and for any ideas they may have given you.
Abraham Lincoln said, "If you want to win a man to your cause, you must first convince him you are his friend."
Bob Burg has graciously allowed me to share with you his list of "10 Feel-Good Questions®". The list will provide you with additional ideas for questions you can use and modify for your job search. Realistically you will only be able to ask a couple of these questions while you are networking.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like a copy of Bob Burg’s “10 Feel-Good Questions”. Put Bob Burg 10Q on the subject line of the email.
Bob Burg is the author of Endless Referrals and coauthor of The Go-Giver and Go-Givers Sell More. The list of questions is from his book, Endless Referrals.
Next week I will share with you the last two steps to this great networking process that I know will help you land those new business customers you have been looking forward to landing!
If you would need professional help in the area of determining whether or not your team is working together as best as they could prospecting for new clients, please call us at 847-304-4500 to discuss your options on understanding your team more fully in terms of their ability to support and achieve the new sales and revenue you are looking for this year.
Have a great week and productive week, managing the changes and challenges that are currently going on in your company.
I wish you a wonderfully successful and productive week ahead.
Eleanor Anne Sweet
Hidden Sales and Revenue tm
Business - Business New Customer Consultant
Turbocharged Sales Action Plan:
1. Sign up to the Opt in Box to the right to receive your monthly Turbocharged Sales Tips Newsletters. Your email information will not be shared with anyone.
2. Call me at 847-304-4500 (CST) to schedule your 30 minute complimentary Corporate Success session for your business.
- Don’t forget to email for Bob Burg’s great 10 interview questions that I mention above in this blog. Follow the instructions when you contact me via email for this great gift!
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