Building Trust is More Important Than a Quick Sale
What business doesn’t want: a customer for life, a buyer who keeps buying, an easy sale?
I’ve been to a lot of networking events. Do I pressure people for business? No. I’m there to make a connection. You need to at least make contact with prospects or others who can help you 5 – 7 times. That’s how you get them to know and remember you. Otherwise, you’re a memory whether you left a business card or not.
I’ve been to mixers where people meet me once. If they don’t sell me right then, they vaporize. I’m not a person but a number, a possible dollar sign. It can be very demeaning.
Why I Network
Las Vegas Biggest Mixer was a fascinating event for me. I got to talk to individual business professionals about what they did. I interested people in what I had to say about my business and the Las Vegas Health & Fitness Chamber of commerce. It wasn’t just food and selling people. It was advertising exposure, interesting conversation and personal connection.
Getting to know people builds TRUST.
I was able to connect with friends I networked with before. I met new types of business people outside Health & Fitness. They had interesting sales strategies like, “On Target Marketing” which was fire arms training. Where else am I going to meet professionals like this? Not everyone is in the yellow pages or online.
That Personal Touch
People get the wrong idea about networking. They think it’s all about netting a customer. What’s in it for me? There’s far more to it and maybe that’s why so many businesses fail. They’re not personal. And act desperate.
The 3 Components for Successful Networking are:
- Influence – Demonstrating your knowledge and expertise on your business
- Resources– Realizing your contact is more than another sale but a source of valuable information
- Relationship– Who are you going to buy from, someone you know and trust or a pushy stranger
You’re the Expert
Believe it or not, people can find you interesting. Your business should be your passion. People (yes both men and women) respond to other’s passion. Do you get excited about explaining aspects of your business? Do you talk about those in your market like they’re your friends or family?
The way you tell your story will help those you speak to remember you. You may even have a customer at that moment. But hard selling right now isn’t a close. You’re more than likely going to drive them away like some lonely person wanting love.
They’re a Valuable Resource
Your networking contacts may have a market that crosses into yours. That could be a wealth of prospective customers. Getting to trust them and getting them to trust you could lead to exchange of valuable information (like a list exchange). Your contact could have new demographics, or an improved customer profile.
You’re not going to get that from them with a shake down. A shared interest in helping each other’s businesses leads to referrals just as much as a satisfied customer. Working together, you can achieve a lot more than just one sale.
Your local community can benefit also if you care to help them.
How do you develop relationships?
One step at a time. There’s no rush when it comes to serious and meaningful business colleagues, community partners, and friendships. You always need to get to know each other better. Have an understanding of what you both need. Two or more heads are better than one in coming up with a great idea.
I urge you to attend more networking events, business mixers and market expos. The more you’re out showing who you are, the more interest you will gain.
I hope to see you at one of our Las Vegas Health & Fitness Chamber of Commerce networking lunches. If you are a member, or someone who may be interested in joining, it would be great to see you.