Sales organizations use several strategies to generate business leads; business networking being one of the oldest tools to achieve this objective. Selling is primarily about meeting people, having conversations and building relationships,. This network is used to get in touch with the decision makers, find new opportunities, ask for advice and take referrals in order to generate business leads constantly and efficiently. However, sales persons tend to make some common networking mistakes that prove costly for them and their organizations. Following are some of the common mistakes made by sales people and tips to avoid them.
- Networking without a clear strategy:
Business networking is a long-term objective; it cannot be accomplished in a day or two. You just cannot grope in the dark and hope for success; a clear-cut strategy is needed when you set out to develop your network. Be clear about the people you want to connect with, the companies you want to do business with and the people you already know in these organizations etc if you wish to generate business leads that really matter.
- Networking with a selfish motive:
If you are only interested in taking advantage of your network without any intention of giving anything in return; you are bound to fail. People in general don’t like connecting with selfish persons and keep them at a distance. Begin your networking with the intention of finding opportunities to help others whenever possible. Look for opportunities to share information, a much needed advice, a referral or a useful contact. Everyone would then pay back in kind.
- Networking only in a small circle:
You naturally want to connect first with the people to your own industry; however, you must extend your network gradually to other facets of life as well. Make a list of people in your social and business circles and add others later. A person in your community or your children’s school might have someone in the business of your expertise
Business networking is an important tool for companies to generate business leads efficiently and constantly, however, one should not go for it without a long-term, clear strategy. You must have a clear-cut strategy, be prepared to give something in return of a favor and not limit your circle of contacts to make your networking more effective.