How to convert networking leads into business

by Rob Brown on November 10, 2011 · 0 comments

I use the phrase ‘CTC’ in my many networking and referral seminars. It stands for any of the following:

  • Card to Client
  • Contact to Customer
  • Card to Connection
  • Connection to Client

You get the idea. It’s about turning that business card into a sale. It’s about converting your networking leads into paying customers and clients.

It’s also the hardest thing for most networking business people to do. Here’s why:

These days, business networking has become such a crucial part of the marketing mix that most people are pretty okay at ‘working a room.’ You see, working the room isn’t the problem.

It’s what you do with your networking. In other words, converting those networking leads into business!

Picture the sceneYou come away from an event armed with a handful of business cards that you’ve collected. If you’re like most people, you’ll put them on your desk, reach for your computer and say ‘right, where was I?’

As a result, those leads and contacts go cold. Leave it too long and it’s like you never met them.

If you want to make your conversations count and make turn those business cards into sales (the CTC) then here are five of my top tips I share in my networking guides and seminars:

  1. Recognise the Networking Process. You’re now out of the networking event and into the process of networking. In other words, there are things to do at various stages.
  2. Do the Networking Follow Up. If this is a good lead or contact, you must follow up within 72 hours. Doesn’t matter so much whether it’s email or phone at this early stage. But you need to maintain momentum and keep yourself in their mind.
  3. Play a Fast Long Term Game. Unless you get lucky, they probably won’t buy or refer you immediately. But you have to move quickly and get the long term game underway. You’re continuing and building the business relationship you started at the networking event.
  4. Add Value Quickly. Think what you can do, give, share, offer or introduce to your prospect’s life that is of low value you to but high perceived value to them. Good networking is good relationship building.
  5. Make It Personal. You know you need to build trust. That’s how you get them to a point where they are comfortable buying and recommending you. One of the best ways to build trust is to keep things personal. If you can talk about family, hobbies, sports, interests and other non-business topics, it’s away from the business agenda. It softens and relaxes people. It allows them to confide and share with you. That’s called getting to know someone.

These business networking tips should get you more motivated to be in the room and following up those crucial networking conversations. That way you’ll create more business opportunities and win more business referrals.

Rob Brown
Rob Brown is an expert on making more money from business networking, online and face to face. He loves working with people who want to network for more sales, referrals or career opportunities, Rob’s books, coaching and dynamic talks have helped clients such as GE, HSBC and a range of speakers, leaders and business owners. A regular media contributor, Rob is founder of the Global Networking Council (the world’s top 200 networking thought leaders, authors and gurus) and author of the bestselling book How to Build Your Reputation. For a free copy of Rob’s Networking Follow Up Checklist – 45 tips to Turn Your Business Cards into Business, go to www.therobbrown.com/nwfu-check-signup

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