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Business networking is an effective method for finding high-quality leads and building relationships with people who can introduce you to potential customers in their network. Solid networking takes some preparation, strong people skills, and strategic follow-up. We spoke with sales experts and compiled the most impactful networking tips below so you can improve at this vital sales skill.
Before attending a business networking event, there are some preparatory steps you should take to ensure you make the most of your time there with potential leads. Check out these expert tips on choosing the right events to attend, picking your networking goal, forming a list of people you want to meet, and connecting with potential leads before the event.
There are specific ways to act while at your networking events. These include meeting everyone, going off on your own, encouraging your new contacts to talk about themselves, and listening carefully. If you follow these basic best practices, you’ll optimize your lead generation process and win over more friends at both recreational and professional events.
The sales experts we spoke with recommend following these best practices to make the best impression on potential leads during virtual networking: decorate your office as a background on your calls, connect with attendees on social media, and take advantage of breakout sessions.
In-person events like industry conferences, local meetups, and trade shows are valuable opportunities to form deep connections with a wide range of potential customers. To succeed at these events, our panel recommends making yourself approachable, bringing business cards, chatting up people who are alone, and going alone yourself.
If you fail to follow up with potential leads you meet at an event, you risk falling off their radar or killing any momentum you’ve created around a deal or relationship. The sales experts we asked about networking recommend connecting instantly on LinkedIn, sending a follow-up email a few days later, and making rapport-building phone calls regularly.
Social networks such as LinkedIn provide a wonderful space to build your reputation as an expert in your industry, expand your network, and engage with potential buyers. The sales experts we talked to recommended some great techniques to use so you can come across as a value provider online and get more connections.
Business networking is a great addition to any lead generation plan. It enables you to form connections with various people who can either buy your solution or introduce you to someone who could benefit from it. A diverse business networking strategy involving in-person events, virtual conferences, and social networks like LinkedIn will expand your reach and increase your likelihood of finding potential buyers.