December 15

Sales Logic-Power of Building your Network

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Meridith Elliot Powell:

Hey, this is Meridith Elliot Powell, and welcome it is Saturday morning. And of course it is time for another episode of sales logic, the show where we dive into the strategies to SU the steps, everything that you need to know to sell more effectively in today’s marketplace. And I’ve got my co-host here, Mark Hunt to you appear to be on location

Mark Hunter:

Today. Yes, I am on location. We’ll get into that maybe a little later on. Nah, who knows, but yeah. Hey, it’s great to be here, cuz it’s a great way to start off Saturday mornings, right? Why not?

Meridith Elliot Powell:

It’s my favorite way to start off Saturday mornings talking about sales. So did you have a good week,

Mark Hunter:

Mark? I had a great week had number of sales calls yesterday. I tell you what stuff is really picking up out there and it’s all the way around. What, what about on your end? Yeah, you

Meridith Elliot Powell:

Can really feel the economy starting to move and things really beginning to, uh, to happen. Now today we are gonna be discussing, I think one of the is the most powerful and most neglected part of the sales process. And I don’t know about you, but I am I anxious to get into it. So how about I pop this video and we start the show. Let’s roll

Mark Hunter:

Prospect

Speaker 3:

With integrity. We will get customers who have integrity. Integrity is the foundation from which everything is built on.

Speaker 4:

You better

Meridith Elliot Powell:

Understand

Speaker 4:

Value, but

Meridith Elliot Powell:

At the end of the day, sales is a relationship business. It is a people business. It is emotional

Speaker 4:

Business. This is sales logic.

Meridith Elliot Powell:

All right. As I said, we have a great topic today, but I wanna tell you really quickly how the show works before we dive in and tell you what we’re gonna talk about today. Every single week we come to you at nine o’clock Eastern talking about sales. Every week we have a topic, we have a powerful question from you, the audience. So if you ever have a question, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at our website sales logic, podcast.com. You can see it right there on the screen, or just put it out there on social media and hashtag it sales logic. And we will find you, we dive into a book. We feel that you should be reading that even more effective in sales and just so that you get return on investment, we leave with a lightning, real, a set of strategies that you can put into place right away. So mark, what is on target for today?

Mark Hunter:

Well, on target for today, we’re talking about networking and the topic specifically is how to make networking part of, of your sales success. In fact, that’s what I’m doing this week. I’ve been down. I got down here yesterday to Dallas and had a couple customer calls, but also did some time networking with other people. So that’s the topic we’re gonna dive into, but Hey, first, let’s go to the question. The question comes from Chris in Seattle and he asks, what is the criteria for determining if a networking event is worth attending

Meridith Elliot Powell:

<laugh> wow, this is such a good question because I gotta tell you one of the biggest mistakes I see sales people make when it comes to networking. Let me tell, tell you, there are a lot of mistakes we make when it comes to networking. But number one has to be that we network at the wrong event. Years ago, I was coaching a client who worked in wealth management. She wouldn’t see a client unless they had a million dollars worth to invest. And when I looked at her networking event, she attended, she was going to like the chamber of commerce business after hours. Now most chamber of commerce business after hours are not full of people with a million dollars or more to invest invest. So your number one criteria, the thing you need to look at first is you need to be clear on your target market, which I know mark, and I sound like a broken record, but, um, but that is so key in sales. And then think about where your target market networks and it may be traditional. It may be a chamber of commerce, but it may not. I mean, I’ve had clients who’ve gone to horse racing events because that’s where their target market is. So first of all, align the event to your target market

Mark Hunter:

And don’t hesitate at all to create your own networking event. Like I said, I happen to be in Alice here and I had some client calls yesterday, but I had some open time. So what did I do? I picked up the phone and called some other people, not really clients. They really can’t bring me business, but they can connect me with people who can bring me business. And I said, Hey, let’s get together. Let’s connect, let’s connect for coffee. Let’s connect for lunch. And we did. And so don’t think for a moment the, that a networking event has to be something formal. It can be very much informal. You create it yourself.

Meridith Elliot Powell:

Yeah. Great points. Um, also think that make sure that the networking event allows time for networking. That that is part of the agenda and the expectation of, of people. We used to have something in our community called a business for four hours. And honestly people blew in at about 10 till seven. We had a speaker at seven o’clock and people wanted to be out by seven 30. Sure. It was nice to be seen there, but there really wasn’t time to work the room and to, and to talk and to engage people. So if they don’t have 30 minutes to an hour on the schedule for networking, I don’t know that that’s really worth your time.

Mark Hunter:

Well, and that’s the whole thing. You really have to understand what, what are the parameters of the event and how are you gonna benefit coming out of the event? Hey, you know what? We should probably jump into the topic. Cuz I have a feeling, we got a lot of different things cuz we don’t talk about networking from an online perspective also. So let’s go ahead and jump into the topic and the top because how to make networking part of your sales success. And I’m gonna jump in first because sir, you, you and I have had a chance to participate in a number of times in networking events online. We’ve got a common friend who pulled a number of us together every few weeks and we just chat online and I’ll tell you what, that’s pretty powerful. That’s pretty good. And it’s amazing because we’re able to connect with people from all over the country and share ideas. So don’t think for a moment that networking is only something done in person. I think

Meridith Elliot Powell:

That’s so key and it leads great into our question here from John, he says, how would you suggest networking with a cold contact online without coming across too self-serving yet you want to advance the sales cycle, John, this is such a good question. Cause the truth about networking is you treated the same in person as you would online, same online as you would in person, you would never walk into the middle of a room and say to somebody, are you ready to buy my product or service? So start to get in the mental space about acting like you’re meeting this person live in person, even though they’re online. And the first thing that you would do would to nurture. So typically the way that I start art online is I’ll make the connection and I’ll introduce myself by giving some way that we are connected.

Meridith Elliot Powell:

We might have something in common from our profiles. We might have something in common from the people that we meet. We might have a common interest or somebody might have introduced us. So I’ll start the connection that way. And then immediate start to follow them. I immediately start to comment on their posts, mention something that they wrote in an article because you have to invest in others before you ask them to invest, um, in you. And then I might, you know, maybe after I do that for a while, I might reach out and say, Hey John, you know, I just posted this article. I really think it would be relevant, um, for you, if it is, maybe you’d wanna make a comment or share it or something. So I’m starting to get the reciprocation. And then again, just like sales, it’s a gut feel. And when the gut feel is right, I will ask them to jump on the phone and say, I’d love to learn more about your business. Let’s jump on and talk a little bit about, got it.

Mark Hunter:

See that drives home a point that I love to say your goal is to take the online connection and turn it into the offline conversation. You see networking takes on so many different forms. And I wanna come back to that question because it was a great question. And you answered it well, I mean, could, could you imagine showing up at a networking event and saying, okay guys gather, I’ve got my PowerPoint pulled up here on my computer. Let’s all take a lot. Take a look at my 65. No, no, no. You have to show interest in the other person. First. I think what I, what I find very interesting is people who do a good job selling services, not products, but services really generally do a very good job networking because they value the other person first.

Meridith Elliot Powell:

Yeah, I think that’s, I think that’s a great point. And I think it really leads in well to the fact that I am a passionate believer that if you build your network, it changes your life. So I think that networking needs to be part of the sales process. I, when I’m doing training on sales, I always say, if you never want a cold call, again, learn to network because what you’re doing is you’re building relationships a year to two years ahead of time with people that you’ll ultimately either do business with, or they’ll connect you with people that you need to do business with. So let’s kind of break this down. You start with your target market. All right. So who do you really, who is your ideal client then think about where they network, as mark said in person as well as online cuz in today’s world, we wanna be doing a, a hybrid of both.

Meridith Elliot Powell:

We wanna be, we wanna be connecting with them in both places. Then make a commitment to show up and learn as much as you can about other people. Uh, one of the other mistakes we make with networking is we go to networking events and we talk to people we already know. And it’s a waste of your time and energy really because you, you formed those relationships. Those people you can call, ask to coffee, ask to lunch, ask to jump on a zoom call and have a conversation. You wanna start to nurture a new relationship. So I always set a goal for every networking event. I go to that. I need to meet three new people and of those three new people. I am gonna walk away with at least one contact I’m gonna follow up with, I’m gonna take a breath here. I wanna talk more about my after strategy with networking, but I wanna give my partner, um, mark here. A chance to weigh in.

Mark Hunter:

Yeah, I, I want to hear about that and I’ll share with you a real quick, easy way regarding networking as to how do, how do I, what do I do with this contact? After I connect with them? I say, I, I do three attempts on them. Now my goal. And I like what you said, it’s not to go and collect a hundred business cards. A hundred name. No, no, no. It’s it’s just two or three. That’s all I want. But what I’m gonna do, I wanna learn one piece of personal information about them from the networking event within 48 hours, I’m going to email or call or something. I’m gonna reach back out to them and ask them a question regarding what they shared with me. They may say that, oh, they love the, the New York Yankees or they love the new England Patriots, whatever it is.

Mark Hunter:

And, and I’m gonna just add a comment. I’m gonna ask him a question on it. That’s step number one, step number two is I’m gonna send them a link. I’m gonna send them an email. I’m gonna send them something of interest to their industry. Okay. And I’m just looking to see if they respond and then I’m gonna, and I’m gonna do that about four days later and I’m six days later, I’m gonna send them another thing. Hey, I just saw this. And in other words, I’m gonna repeat the process. I’m gonna attempt three moves on them within the course of about a week. Now here’s what I find. If somebody’s interested in you, they’re gonna probably respond to one of those three. Great. And you say, Hey, let’s have a conversation. Let’s get a conversation, go on. And then I can begin to value. I can begin to determine if this connection is really worth, kind of investing more time, but here’s the key thing.

Mark Hunter:

Networking is a long tail. There are relationships that you will create today that may not have any kind of payout for years and years to come, do not expect a networking event to suddenly put dollars into your bank account. But what I will say is this. And then I wanna hear about this actor strategy. Is this the side of your network? The value of your network is gonna be in direct relationship to the size and the value of your net worth. Believe me, you become really the sum of the five people you associate with. So you should be working to up your game.

Meridith Elliot Powell:

Yeah, exactly. It’s exactly why I hang out with you, mark. I love that our buddy here, Larry Levine said we reap what so, so true. We’ve got to invest in, um, we’ve got to invest in others. So I really believe that networking needs to be strategic. So you have heard mark and I talk so much each week about the number of sales calls. We make the number of sales follow up calls we make, how we use email on the phone added to that is every single week I make at least two more often three, but I set a, I set a low bar or two that I’m gonna reach out and just have two networking conversations. I keep up with CEOs that I’ve spoken with or worked with before in the past clients that I love team members I’ve worked with in corporate, just random people that I feel fit into my target market that have nothing, no, no goal other than to honestly reach out and just get in touch, um, with them.

Meridith Elliot Powell:

Why do I do this? One is because I want to continue to nurture my network. I don’t ever know when I am going to need something. Here’s what I think about networking is there is no problem, no challenge that you have, that somebody in your network can help you solve, but you can’t use that network if you don’t invest in your network. So make it minimal and do that. The other is I, I attend a networking event. As I said, I have a goal that I’ve gotta push out on my comfort zone and I have to talk to at least three people. And when I do that, I’ve gotta set a five open ended questions that I’m using because my goal is not to talk about me. Why? Because I already know all about me. It does me. No good to stand there and learn that I’m a coach.

Meridith Elliot Powell:

That I’m a speaker that I’m an author who cares. I wanna learn about the person that I’m talking to because in my mind, I’m deciding, is this a relationship I want to pursue? So before I leave that networking, whether it’s online or whether it’s in person, I set the next appointment. I say, Hey mark, this has been such a fabulous conversation. I know that you wanna talk to other people here. So I don’t wanna dominate your time. Would you mind if I gave you a call, we could grab a cup of coffee, jump on a zoom call. I just wanna learn more about you and more about your business because networking is not a one time interaction. You have to nurture those relationships along. Last thing I wanna add about the long tail that mark said, cuz it’s so true, but oh my God does networking you things.

Meridith Elliot Powell:

So this past year in the middle of the pandemic, I had kept a networking relationship going. I had shared a stage with the head of marketing and development for Ritz Carlton. At the time she ended up moving over and becoming head of, um, sustainability for the Berkshire Hathaway companies. And we had always just kept in touch. No agenda just kept in touch this past year in the middle of this pandemic. I cannot believe the amount of work she has thrown my way and the uh, number of doors she has opened and connections that she has made. Now, I never pushed that. It was us investing in one another, getting to know, but had I let that relationship go. After we shared the stage, I would’ve missed so much opportunity. So it has funneled completely into my sales process just simply by staying in touch.

Mark Hunter:

I’ll tell you what, that’s so key investing in other people. And, and this was a lady who was, who you really felt there was a connection with because of your, your insights cuz your ideas. I’ve got people like that too. And it’s amazing. I love reaching out to them and sharing with them, the names of other people they should connect with. I love connecting people from a networking standpoint. Why? Because it increases the value of my network. There’s a couple of individuals that I talk with on a regular basis on the telephone and our conversations run for far and wide. But it’s always amazing. I get done with that conversation. And then I think, Hey, there’s somebody who I need to connect that person with. Or they do the same thing with me and see, this is one-on-one networking. We have a tendency to think that networking has to be this formal thing.

Mark Hunter:

And it doesn’t, here’s something that I love to do. And okay, we’ve been in a pan dam and traveling has been less, but this is kind of what I did yesterday. I had some open time. I fill it by meeting with other people. One of the things that I love doing is when I’m traveling to distance cities, when I’m traveling outside of my area, I will routinely say, Hey, who is somebody I wanna get to know? Maybe I just casually know them, or maybe we’ve only met once. I will not hesitate to pick up the phone and call them and say, Hey, have you got time for breakfast? Have you got time for lunch or coffee? And it’s amazing. The relationships that I have built up over the years, the network you create is so powerful. We cannot underestimate the strength. Now here’s something else.

Mark Hunter:

Here’s one thing to keep in mind when you have your network and you’ve got your people create a couple different lists. Now I’m not saying to categorize people in your network. But what I am saying is people list of 10 people. These are your master networkers. These are the people who, you know, what they value network. You value network, you value their relationship. These are the 10 that you want to really say, you know what? I’m gonna spend even more time with. Then there’s another list of maybe 25 or 50. These are people who, you know, yeah, you hang around with you. You might connect with every few months or every six months. And then there’s this distant list. The list of people who you want to get to know. In fact, it’s kind of funny. If you think about this, if you were to make a list of the people who you’d really want to get to know and make it your objective, my objective is to get to know them now to get to know them.

Mark Hunter:

You’re gonna have to go through somebody else, who to go through somebody else. Who’s gonna go through somebody else. It’s interesting on my list is sir Richard Branson. I’d like, I’d like to get to know, sir, Richard Branson. I’ve never met him, but you know what? Along the way I met somebody who has met, sir, Richard Branson. So guess what? I’ve now developed a relationship with that person now, is he gonna connect me? Probably not never know. Think about this. I’ve got a relationship with somebody who, because he knows Richard Branson. Guess what? He probably knows a lot of other people. It’s a great relationship. That’s what networking is all about. It’s making the sum of the parts be more than they are individually. Yeah.

Meridith Elliot Powell:

You know, market is becoming clear to me that we need to do a deep dive on networking cuz we have not even scratched the surface. So I forget what we call our 30 minute webinars, but we probably need to do one of those, um, on there. And you can find our deep dives on the podcast, sales logic, podcast.com a big shout out to somebody. I keep in my network, the powerhouse, Laura Williams. She is, is amazing. And I’m so glad that she dropped in here today. One last thing, cuz mark, you really touched on something. The fact that you reach out to people, here’s something I’m getting ready to. Um, we’ve got a place in Charleston, South Carolina, and I’m getting ready to head out there. Uh, this afternoon I’m gonna be working in Charleston all week. I’ve got a small speaking engagement down there. And since I was there, I had no at a meeting planner at a speaking engagement I had been at and I just reached out to her and said, do you have time for breakfast?

Meridith Elliot Powell:

And she said, absolutely I’d love to get together. And I said, you know, I’m just curious. I said, I don’t know very many meeting planners in South Carolina. If you wanna bring anybody else along that you think might be a good fit and interesting conversation. Why don’t you bring them? And so she is bringing somebody who heads a uh, meeting planning for the state of South Carolina. So it’s an opportunity for me to extend my network. If you hate to cold call, cold calling is not something you want to do. Just nurturing that network. Consistency is key. I mean, I, we could do a show on consistency. I think it’s one of the most important words in, um, in C, but just reaching out and having conversations with no agenda other than to invest and figure out how you can help other people mark. And I could probably talk for two days, the number of doors that have opened, I can tell you because I sat down next to mark at a CSP summit in high point, North Carolina, I cannot tell you the number of doors has opened for me, just because of that casual conversation. We followed up on it and here we are down the road doing a podcast and a mastermind and all these things together.

Mark Hunter:

Yeah. And if you stop and think about that, we first met probably about five years ago now. Yeah. And it was, it was, we just happened to be sitting next to each other, I think, at a dinner or something like that. Yes. Uh, uh, and out of that, it just, it just kept building, building, building, and stop and think about this for a moment. Networking is a long play and you have to be willing to sit with it. But one of the things that you will, more people, if you become attractive now, what do I mean by that? It means you give back to other people. Yeah. You want to nurture your network. Don’t use your network. In fact, I talk about it. My book of mine for sales, you nurture your network and Hey, you know what? We should do a quick shout out the ultimate networking event, outbound coming up, outbound.

Mark Hunter:

You and I are both gonna be there. Mayor 100 to save a hundred dollars, go to outbound conference.com and tickets are still available, but I’ll tell you what that is kinda like the ultimate outbound or that is the ultimate networking event. Hey, in the interest of time, we gotta jump over to the book. So many books we, we could have selected. But the, the book I I selected is because of a gentleman who I met by way of networking. And over the last several months, we’ve become pretty good friends. Matthew Pollard has written a new book. It’s called the introverts edge to networking. Yes. I’d love to show you a copy right here. <laugh> at home. I apologize the introverts edge to networking. Now, if you get to know Matthew Pollard, he is gold in terms of his strategies, the book just came out a couple months ago. It is going gangbusters. And I very much suggest you pick it up. He’s got an, he’s got a, um, previous book that came out a couple years ago and yeah, by them both by the most. Yeah.

Meridith Elliot Powell:

Well, can I just say what I, what I love about this is because so often people say to me, I’m introverted. Networking is something that makes me uncomfortable. I do believe you have an edge. If you’re an introvert. And the reason you have an edge is because you’re quiet. And the goal with networking if is, is to talk very little and, and introverts are really, really good at that. I put the book in the chat. You can see it up there on the screen introverts edge to networking by Matthew ho. And gosh, I know that we need to get into the lightning room, but I gotta tell you, we have got to do a deep dive on this, cuz I don’t know about you mark, but I, I just don’t even feel like I have scratched the surface about how important I think networking is to the growth of your, a business to your sales process, to, to making your team even more effective. Um, PRD, just put a great, great comment up there. If you’re, if you’re missing opportunities as a sales leader, you’re not really helping your team with this, you’re really missing something. So I wanna dive more into it.

Mark Hunter:

Great. Hey, lightning round, we gotta do this fast networking secrets. We’ve never shared before. Let’s just do three or four because we’re running out of time. Clock is ticking.

Meridith Elliot Powell:

Yeah. It is talk 20 and ask 80, go into every networking event with five open ended questions that you are ready to ask,

Mark Hunter:

Go into a networking event. Focus your time on one individual, not

Meridith Elliot Powell:

The mass of individuals. Yeah. Set a goal for how many people you’re gonna talk to and set a goal for who you’re gonna follow up

Mark Hunter:

With. Always send a follow up note after you network, after you connect with anybody. Yeah.

Meridith Elliot Powell:

In that follow up, make sure you mention something personal that you talked about that maybe they mentioned their children or the fact that they had just been on a cycling trip or something, but make it personal and show that you listened,

Mark Hunter:

Make the networking relationship more value by connecting them with somebody else. You share one more. I’ll share one more. We’ll close it down. Yeah.

Meridith Elliot Powell:

Make sure that every week networking is part of your sales strategy and just set a goal to either attend a networking event, reach out and network, but make it a habit. Just like you flush your teeth or you exercise or you make your sales calls, which I know you are doing all

Mark Hunter:

Of those. Start off Monday morning by sending a quick email to two or three people who you haven’t talked to in ages is a, Hey, we haven’t talked in a while. We should catch up. And with that, let’s go ahead and close it down. I wanna say thank you for listening to sales logic this week. If you like what you hear, subscribe, rate and review the show on your favorite podcast app. If something we’ve said has earned you a single dollar, consider telling a friend about our show. It’s how we grow to help you grow. I’m Mark Hunter and I’m

Meridith Elliot Powell:

Meredith Elliot Powell.

Mark Hunter:

Remember when you sell with confidence and integrity, you won’t be standing outside in 58 degree weather doing another show like this <laugh>

Meridith Elliot Powell:

And uncertainty will suddenly become your competitive advantage.

Mark Hunter:

And the sale becomes logical. Hey, don’t forget to check out the website sales logic podcast.com

Meridith Elliot Powell:

And look, mark. And I will both be as well as Larry Levine will be there too@outboundconference.com. This is the sales conference of the year. You can be there in person. You can be there virtually. Please. Don’t forget to come and check it out and please check out sales, logic, podcast.com. You are an amazing audience. You check in every week. We love the questions, keep it coming and together. We’re gonna really turn all of this uncertainty into competitive advantage. We’ll see you next week.

Meridith Elliott Powell


Voted one of the Top 15 Business Growth Experts to watch by Currency Fair, highly engaging corporate motivational keynote speaker Meridith Elliott Powell delivers a cutting-edge message, rooted in real-life examples and real-world knowledge. Meridith’s presentations are full of powerful content, highly interactive, and fun. She helps her clients learn the leadership development, sales and business growth strategies to turn uncertainty to competitive advantage.

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