Sales networking: how to make buddies

staff Published by Staff, le 29 June 2021

Networking is a bit like when you’re a young student at a new school. How do you navigate the social jungle to form new relationships? Making people want to follow you and call you back is a science that’s within everyone’s reach.

Smile, you’re on camera

You only get one chance to make a first impression. If the first thing people think when they meet you is, “Wow they look drained!”,then you’re sure to be forgotten quickly. Happiness is contagious. Remember to smile and give off positive vibes. Be the person that people want to be around.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Do your clients have a pleasant time when they meet with you?
  • What about your conversation will make them want to see you again?
  • How can you be more in sync with them (birds of a feather flock together)?
  • How can you build on the things you have in common with your clients?

The good Samaritan

Demonstrate that you’re there for people through your attitude, actions, and relationships with clients and colleagues. Helping people makes everyone happy, both on the giving and the receiving end. You’ll see that when you’re the one in need, they’ll return the favor by introducing you to someone or giving you contact details. It will be natural for them to pay it forward.

Here are a few ideas:

  • What (non-business) favors have you done for your main clients?
  • What favors have you requested from your clients?
  • Which people in your ecosystem have you introduced to each other?
  • Overall, do you give enough? Do you give more than you take?

The professional

Knowing your job is one thing. But giving it everything you’ve got, being a professional, working conscientiously to offer all the complementary services—that’s a whole other dimension. 

Fulfilling your end of the contract is the bare minimum expected of you. Make the extra effort needed for people to place their trust in you. They will be more inclined to do business with you again or recommend you if they notice that you’re going the extra mile just for them.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Do your clients regard you as a true professional in your sector?
  • What signs of authority do you exude through your attitude, the care you put into dealings with your clients, and your relations with your peers?
  • When someone seeks your input on a problem, question or issue, are they generally happy to have done so?
  • Do clients have to check up on your work?

Friendships

It’s one thing to meet a lot of people, but it’s a different story to gradually make the transition from superficial relationships to solid, close bonds built on trust.  When you arrive at the friendship stage, that means that you will be respected for the quality of your expertise, recommended for your reliability and, most importantly, over time you will form part of their lives through the close relationships you have developed. 

Here are a few ideas:

  • Among your good clients, how many can you call on weekends?
  • Which ones would be willing to attest to the fact that you’re a good supplier in public or on social media?

Making friends in business isn’t a goal but it’s not something to be shirked, either. Lasting bonds of friendship are among the strongest. For the fun of it, he’s a clip from one of the greatest French films about friendship: Le coeur des hommes


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