I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been to events where I’ve literally told people, “I love your idea. I want to work with you.” I gave them my card but I never heard from them again. These people never understood that they had a guaranteed sale in their hands; they let it all slip through their fingers.
Then, you meet people who are just too pushy about it. All they want to do is talk about what they do, to the point that it gets on your nerves. That’s not a good idea either.
I want you to understand that you want to network for success, not for sales. Some peoples’ idea of networking is merely selling their products or services to one person–the person they are talking to at that moment. When you network for success, not sales, you are trying to get into the person’s sphere of influence. Now, achieving this takes time and effort and most people are usually not willing to put in that kind of work. But this is exactly the type of work that, if one sticks with it, separates a mogul from an otherwise struggling entrepreneur.
Think about this for a moment: If you make a sales pitch to one person and manage to sell him a product priced at, let’s say, 20 bucks, that’s great. You just made a $20 sale. But if you network for success, and people really like you and your product, they’re going to tell their friends. The fact of the matter is, some people might not care for your product personally, but they might know someone who would love to buy it. However, if they don’t like you as a person, they won’t pass along the information. Also, if they don’t like you personally, then even if they could use your product, they won’t want to buy it.
The interesting thing is, everyone usually has a circle of influence, meaning friends and associates, which averages about 250-350 people. Yes, that many! Let’s do a test right now. Grab a pen and a pad (Old School), and in one minute, write down as many people as you can think of off the top of your head. This could include your mailman who you talk to once in a while, or the co-worker you see on a regular basis; your best friend, your sister and/or brother. When you are finished, just take a look at how many people you know in just one minute. You will probably be surprised at how long the list is.
If you are networking and someone decides that he actually likes you as a person, he will spread the word about your service or product to the people he knows. If this associate, for example, has influence with about 200 people, and 25 percent of them will purchase your product, you just went from making a $20 sale to making a $1,000 profit. Not bad, huh? I call that a “success profit.” So you see, it is really important to understand that you must not network for sales, but for success.