Networking Not Working? Here's Why


Reading time ( words)

“Bruce, I use Facebook and I have hundreds of connections on LinkedIn, but I don’t get any business out of them.”

I hear variations on this every week from people who invest a lot of time in social media and get little or no return. Usually it's because they've forgotten what networking means. They collect followers and connections, and share or broadcast content. But that’s it. They forget their network is composed of individuals and they should be networking with those individuals on a one-to-one basis.

And here’s the really hard part for salespeople: Stop selling; just meet people. Take an interest in them, take an interest in their professional lives, and help them with their problems where you can.  

I ran a test that illustrates this back in the summer. I sent a carefully worded LinkedIn InMail (a message that you can send to anyone on LinkedIn) to 40 managers and sales executives I don’t know personally. The message was a sales pitch for one of my services. The result? Zero responses out of 40 messages. Chances of making a sale to any of these people? Zero.

Then I sent 40 more InMails out to another set of managers and sales executives. Same basic demographics as the first set. Except that this time, no sales pitch. Instead, I offered a white paper on an aspect of using LinkedIn. The result? Fourteen responses or 35%.

The real power in your network isn’t in the people you know or are connected with, but the people that they know. For each person you have in your network, that person can connect you with another several hundred people they know. That’s powerful. When I was a kid, my first summer job came through a friend of my father’s. It wasn’t from the person in my network (my father), it was from someone in his network.

Will I sell something to one of more of the 14 new people who responded to my InMail? Maybe. But I am more interested in establishing credibility through networking with them so that I might be introduced and make a sale to one of the thousands of people in their networks.

Some things to take away from this week’s column: Get outside your comfort zone; just meet people; take an interest in them; help them where you can; and keep up with them as individuals. Do this every day and make it a habit. Prominent on my daily schedule is to introduce myself to three new people every day and to offer to help them. I also make a point of contacting 10 of my LinkedIn connections every day and offering something that might help them.

There is a reason this stuff is called “social."

Share


Suggested Items

Rex Rozario’s Next Big Thing, Part 2

10/25/2017 | Barry Matties, I-Connect007
In Part 2 of this two-part series, the conversation continues with Rex Rozario and Michael Caines as they discuss the ups and downs of creating their magnificent Lympstone Manor hotel and restaurant. The conversation ranges from dealing with budget and inclement weather to working with investors and the building itself to the joy of seeing the project come together beautifully.

Rex Rozario’s Next Big Thing, Part 1

10/24/2017 | Barry Matties, I-Connect007
Barry Matties joins Rex Rozario at Lympstone Manor, one of Rex’s investments outside of the electronics industry. The property, once an old country house in the Exeter countryside, has been transformed into a splendid hotel and restaurant. Joining them is Michael Caines, a Michelin Star chef from the UK who is heading the project.

Ventec Shares Their Insights on the Laminate Market, Part I

09/12/2017 | Barry Matties, I-Connect007
I-Connect007’s Barry Matties sat down with the COO of Ventec USA/Europe, Mark Goodwin, to discuss the laminate market as a whole, the market segments behind that growth, and how Ventec has positioned itself in the thermal management space.



Copyright © 2017 I-Connect007. All rights reserved.