How to Sell THROUGH Others, Not TO Others, While Networking
Networking isn’t about making sales. It’s about building relationships.
No one enjoys feeling like someone else’s dollar sign — and they will likely never buy from you if you make them out to feel that way.
This is one of the great mistakes of networking: Selling directly to your peers. This can appear in a number of ways, including being a “taker” at the table (asking for too much compared to the advice, help and referrals you provide others), rambling about your business, being too specific about what you’re trying to sell (directly trying to sell others on your product/service) — I think you get the idea.
Networking organizations exist for you to build meaningful, long-lasting relationships with others in your professional business circles. It is not appropriate to solicit other attendees at these events; however, you should attend with an appropriate goal in mind. You should have a strategy — know who you want to talk to or which introductions you need, for example.
You have the power to either turn someone off through your networking strategy OR invest in that relationship and watch as it pays dividends for — potentially — years to come.
Here are our tried-and-true networking tips on how to build relationships and sell THROUGH people in your professional circles:
1. Treat your peers like your friends
2. If you want to connect with someone, find a way to help them
3. Set reasonable expectations
This is an important key while attending networking events. Don’t expect to make a sale at the event. Instead, plan on setting up times where people can tour your brick-and-mortar shop or retail space. Expect to set follow ups with others. Expect to get some newfound knowledge on a problem or issue you’re having. Expect to plant the seed of this new relationships and plan on nurturing it until it flourishes.