Networking: How Good are you?
How important is networking for your business and for yourself? Let me put it another way, if you are selling a window package to someone, are your chances better with someone who knows you or someone that is meeting you for the first time?
I have found over the years that networking is a real key in the door and window business not just for manufacturers but for in-home sales people as well. Networking might also be compared to event marketing but it’s your own personal event.
Networking events really can be anything from a homeowner’s association meeting to Rotary Club meetings. What I have found and observed with many ‘stand out’ sales people is everyone knows them. You’ve probably been out with them. They go into a restaurant, people wave and say hi. You go out to a customer job with them and not only does the customer know them, but so do all the neighbors. What’s their secret sauce?
Their secret really is hard work and planning. Many of these ‘well known’ sales people attend all sorts of events on their off hours. They go to where the people are or perhaps better put, where the right people are. Homeowner association meetings are great spots, becoming involved in local industry organizations, local business organizations are also terrific spots to network.
By attending and becoming involved in these organizations and networking, these unique sales people quickly become known as the ‘go to’ people for windows, for siding, for building product advice in general. Wouldn’t it be great if you developed a reputation where people called you for advice about your specialty?
This ‘consultative selling’ can become a reality if you work hard and plan your networking events. And when you are doing consultative selling, people are asking you for advice because you are the expert. It moves you away from price and into trust – and when this happens, you are on a whole different level that the competition. Networking is hard work, but if you commit to it, you will experience great results – and more importantly – you will differentiate yourself and truly be the expert!