How To Make Networking Boost Your Sales Success

Many self-employed individuals and people aiming to earn more sales commission think of networking as a form of prospecting. They enter networking mode ready to smile, to meet people, and to give out their business cards. They focus on coming away with qualified prospects, good referrals, and even new sales. Too many reap frustratingly mediocre results, though, because their own common sense works against them.

elevator speech essential
Especially at events known up-front as networking events (e.g. a chamber of commerce mixer), many view a good elevator speech as an essential tool to get others interested in what they offer. They view their elevator speech as a critical step toward getting people to recognize how valuable and important their product or service must be. They expect this to generate the interest that leads to business opportunities. Yet, even the much-rehearsed, ever-developing elevator speech typically under-delivers because of faulty underlying assumptions.

the common sense minefield
Conventional wisdom dictates that an elevator speech must last 30 seconds or fewer. Nothing faulty in that. However, this leads to the counter-productive application of other common-sense assumptions:
• When somebody asks you a question, you should answer it satisfactorily.
• When you speak about yourself, your products or services, or your company, you must get straight to the point succinctly.
• The straight and simple truth about the value you offer should attract people who seek that value.

how common sense proves faulty
Many who abide by those assumptions as guiding principles for their elevator speech find that too many people, instead of responding with interest, respond with silence or change the topic. For an elevator speech to lead to business opportunities, it must not end the conversation. Instead, it should compel listeners to share information about themselves. After all, sales success follows from learning about people who share information freely about their relevant interests. Sales success does not follow from conversation cut short by succinct straight-talk about yourself.

recognize the pivotal moment
Of course, the golden moment to deliver an elevator speech occurs when somebody asks, “What do you do?” In most situations, a direct answer to a direct question exemplifies good communication. Indeed, getting straight to the point with a succinct answer seems more respectful of both parties. Even so, in the context of person-to-person networking, when somebody asks you what you do, a direct, succinct response too often squelches meaningful dialogue.

blue-ribbon winners that lose sales
Consider these conversation-enders:

• “I work with people who want to accumulate wealth by investing in undervalued stocks.”
• “I help couples to furnish and decorate their new homes in a style that’s all their own.”
• “I work with growing companies that need to find talented people so that they may continue growing and become more successful.”

Each of these examples excels at answering the trigger question, “What do you do?” more directly and succinctly than most. Indeed, to call any of these a ‘speech’ seems to misuse the term. Nevertheless, these exemplify what many who deliver a more lengthy elevator speech aim for: a bullseye hit answer.

pivot 180 degrees
When people ask you what you do, do not get straight to the point with a succinct answer. Rather, aim for your elevator speech to engage them in a compelling conversation more valuable to you both. Your elevator speech should get them to open up with information necessary to discover business opportunities.

elevator speeches that compel conversation
Imagine saying these instead:

• “You know, a growing number of people worry that they might outlive their savings. They find persistently low interest rates aggravating. Many fear the fees and the risks of investing in the one place where, historically, long-term savings reliably grow: the stock market. How would this interest you, if at all?”

• “You know, many couples find themselves unexpectedly frustrated about how to furnish and decorate their new home. They struggle to agree on what they consider the right style for each room and for their home as a whole. They get aggravated as they consider paint versus stain or wallpaper, payment plans, and an endless supply of furnishing and decorating tips from too many sources. As a professional interior designer, I can make it all easier, more rewarding, and more economical. You don’t know anybody who would relate to that, do you?”

• “You know, there’s a lot of people worried about their career, these days. They struggle to find a good a company with a good future that needs them. Some feel anxious that they might never have a truly fulfilling job. As a Certified Human Resources Professional, I help them to find that – sometimes more easily than expected. How would that mean anything to you?”

formula for a compelling elevator speech

1. inclusive opening (e.g. “You know… “).
2. three problems you solve described emotionally (e.g. fear, anxiety, aggravation, worry).
3. that you solve such problems (positioning you as a rescuer).
4. a retreating hook question (e.g. “This wouldn’t matter to you, would it?”).

how to make it work for you
When in networking mode, either attending events meant for networking or simply where networking opportunities arise, think of children in schoolyards who playfully ask, “What’s your favourite colour?” This memory in mind, ask others, “What do you do?” Listen to their responses carefully to inform you what to say as you tailor your response when asked the same question reciprocally. Then, apply the four-part formula above for a compelling elevator speech. Aim to generate a conversation in which you get to learn about each person you’ve approached. See how many more ask for your business card, then how many lead to new sales.

Networking Tips for Introverts

Some professionals love meeting and greeting. They enjoy attending events and working a room, and they seem to be natural born networkers. I am NOT one of these people. I’m a classic, textbook, introvert who, despite knowing the importance of networking, sometimes still finds it to be a challenge. It’s because networking doesn’t come easily to me that I understand the trials of trying to network as an introvert. In fact, networking tips for introverts has become one of the most popular topics in my workshops.

Experts tell us that 70 to 85 percent of jobs are filled through networking. It’s a bit more difficult to get statistics for entrepreneurs. Yet, we know that if the “know, like, trust” rule of business holds, networking is key for business owners as well. So what can introverts do to improve in this crucial area?

Do your homework. Nothing is quite as uncomfortable to an introvert as entering a room full of total strangers. In the past, you might have waited around for someone you knew to introduce you around the room, or just stood stone-like at the refreshments table. Technology, and social media in particular, has leveled the playing field for introverts a bit. We can research the venue, read the profiles of organizers and sometimes other attendees, and even engage in online conversations before the event. This takes away some of that room full of strangers feeling.

Be selective. Since networking drains introverts of energy, don’t try to attend every event in your town. You’ve only got so much energy and calendar space before needing alone time to regroup, so be choosy about where you go. Pick groups and events with a stellar reputation. Opt for organizations that provide you with lots of online information [See Do Your Homework above]. Aim for crowds that are most likely to contain your ideal customer or key people in your industry. Evaluate events and don’t return to venues that make you uncomfortable or that leave you feeling like you’ve wasted your time.

Partner up. A networking buddy can be useful no matter what your personality. From helping you find a parking space to reminding you to put business cards in your pocket, a networking partner makes sense. If you’re an extrovert, buddying up for networking just adds to the socialization and the fun. If you’re an introvert, your networking partner provides you with support, a conversation assistant, and in the worst cases someone to read your signals and get you out the door if needed. For introverts who are really uncomfortable with networking, a trusted partner provides someone to practice with before events and someone who will help you learn to break the ice and engage in a crowded setting.

Recover and reward yourself. As an introvert you know you need alone time to recover after a taxing social situation. You should be building this into your schedule on a regular basis. In addition, after high stakes or high stress networking events, reward yourself with a favorite activity. Books, video games, or an evening of movies all on your own, make excellent treats for the introverted professional.

As an introvert you can be an effective networker, without making yourself miserable. The key is to play to your strengths and to be mindful of your own needs. Introverts make good listeners and really shine in one-on-one interactions, so don’t try to work the whole room. Instead have a few high quality conversations. Introverts excel at reading body language and other social cues; we spend a lot of time people watching. Use this ability to connect beyond the “Hello… here’s my card… ” kind of exchanges. Becoming known as an attentive listener who really works to establish genuine relationships will become part of your brand. This will eventually have others seeking you out at events and further relieve some of that networking pressure.

Some final tips:

Arrive early-the host of the event will probably ask you to help with final details and introduce you to the first few attendees.

Ask questions about what the other person does, likes, or hopes to accomplish.

Have a confidence boosting routine for pre-networking. Deep breathing, striking “power poses” or a few minutes of a mirror pep talk, can make all the difference.

How To Attract Clients And Boost Your Law Firm Business

The law practice is pacing towards a slowdown owing to the foray a plenty of players in the industry with less of clients, people’s high price perception towards the law services, etc. Amidst the chaos, it is quite essential to mine innovative ways to attract and retain new clients.
While some prosecutors rely on digital medium to reach potential clients, other law firms adopt a holistic marketing approach to expand their customer database.

Here are some effective ways to attract clients and escalate your law firm business by leaps and bounds:
• A Robust Social Media Presence: Of the myriad social media platforms available, presence on merely few of them could benefit you to a great extent. Social Media platforms are an amazing yet cost-effective medium to interact with the clients, engage them with your promotional schemes, boost brand awareness, etc.

• Emailing: As per Regalix, 95% companies are taking advantage of email marketing. Emailers are an excellent way to communicate any upcoming law service, share any new update or just elevate the brand visibility. It is a great touch point that transfers the message in brief yet interesting way.

• Advertising: Digital mediums such as websites, social media, etc. are not just meant to chat and interact with the audience. Rather they are amazing platforms that bridge the communication gap through advertising. An ad showcased on digital medium is said to have more conversion than on any other medium. On the other hand, offline advertising and promotion have its own advantages for the law firms or a prosecutor to leverage.

• Attending Networking Events: Be it a corporate law firm or an individual prosecutor, it is imperative for them to meet people from the same profession and industry. It not only helps them understand what their competitors are doing but aid in optimizing their marketing strategy as per that of the rivals.

Networking events and conferences are indeed one of the most effective ways to boost the law firm business. Events 4 Sure, a leading organizer of law events worldwide, understands the importance of the same and thus, organizes these meet-ups on a frequent basis across the globe.

Attracting Clients and Retaining Them: The Need of the Hour for Law Firms
To survive in the stiff competition is easier said than done. However, effective marketing and networking are the ultimate survival mechanisms that could help a law firm to have a very broad database of loyal clients