Now what I am about to say is probably going to sound like a huge contradiction in terms. You see I always carry on about the fact that I get all of my work through Networking and now I am telling you that relying on Networking to generate sales leads is not a good idea. I can just see all the eyes raising heavenwards and groans of ‘well make up you mind!’
Well it’s like this, I am a natural Networker and a natural connector – so it works for me as an individual. For those of you who find Networking hard work or in any way difficult or you actually just don’t ‘get it’, relying on Networking to generate your sales leads is a really bad mistake.
You see most people will join a Chamber of Commerce and go to one or other of the meetings and shuffle around meeting one or two other people who are doing exactly the same thing. You may or may not meet someone with whom you can form a joint venture or strategic alliance with, sometime in the future and it may give you a few brownie points for being visible as a supporter of your community, but in all probability it will not generate you any kind of sustainable sales leads. That is because you will not ‘work’ it.
One-on-one networking is time consuming and it is hard work and if you don’t work at it properly, there is no guarantee that you will get any work out of it. So be sure that you are aware of what it is that you are doing and why you are doing it. It can become a very costly exercise both financially and also with your time.
So for those of you who are uncomfortable (or perhaps that should be not as comfortable as I am) in the Networking environment, you should use Networking as any other of your marketing strategies – measure them and determine the cost to you versus your payback.
Don’t be too quick to blame Networking for your lack of sales leads though, it is probably your lack of knowledge and your failure to understand how to Network correctly that will result in zero sales leads.