If you want to make more sales, you need to know more people. You can, and should, try to get current customers and clients to buy more. But long-term growth will always depend on expanding that list as well.
But how do you make new connections? It will never be easy. Don’t think you can just snap your fingers and have 100 new leads overnight.
There are, however, some great strategies that will allow you to meet new people and start practicing your sales techniques in short order. The following three tactics present some of the best ways to make contacts and start propelling your business to the next level.
Attend More Networking Events
The most common advice to meet new people is to go to more events. It may sound obvious — and it is — but that doesn’t mean it isn’t still the best strategy out there. Simply put, you need to go where people are, and events that offer time for meeting and greeting are praised for good reason.
Just be sure to find the right type of events that work for you. Look for things that match your personality and interests. You don’t want to force yourself to go to a bar get together when you much prefer cultural outings like an art gallery. Ultimately, if you don’t want to be there, it will be obvious to everyone. So pick things you like, and then show up eager to make new connections.
Test the Waters With Existing Connections
While making new contacts will be critical to success, don’t forget about the people you already know. Hopefully, you have a collection of trusted friends and family members at the ready who you can count on to get things started on the right page. In fact, sticking to just this smaller network at the outset can be a great exercise in maximizing the potential of each lead. Because your friends already like you, they should be easier to target than any cold call approaches to strangers and this will put you at ease.
This strategy has been a key component of world-class business models from companies such as Amway. By selling great products to people they already know at high margins, the organization’s independent business owners are able to hit sales goals and even make money online with Amway — without ever needing an MBA. This approach not only brings in revenue quickly but offers the type of high close rates that increase motivation. These lower-pressure sales will also allow you to hone your pitches and practice your ability to make the sale before you start in on any new leads, who may not give you the same benefit of the doubt as friends and acquaintances.
Pick Up a Hobby
If you solely focus on making sales, you can quickly turn off potential customers. There is a big difference — but a fine line — between being aggressive and pushy. This is why you need to know when to be in closing mode and when it’s time to simply cultivate a relationship that may reap rewards in the future.
Hobbies are a great way to meet new people. Golf has long been a staple salesperson bonding method, and this applies to other activities like tennis, hiking, cycling, and even team sports like basketball. In such settings, you can get to know people and share a common goal, allowing you to know each other in another arena before you move into the art of the deal.
Networking with Purpose
There are so many ways to network. The tried and true are staples for a reason, but don’t forget to think more creatively about the opportunities present in your particular community and niche.
Your existing network will always be the best place to start, attending events is a quick way to meet a lot of new leads, and engaging in social hobbies will help develop deeper bonds with prospects. Even if you don’t do anything else, these three methods are sure to improve your bottom line and get you one step closer to all your professional goals.
So don’t be shy, and don’t wait another minute. Sign up for that next cocktail gathering or the local softball league as soon as possible.