A strong network and being an active contributor demonstrate your value as a business leader. In addition, being well-connected makes you a more important resource within your company and in your specialized field.
Through this interaction, you get insider information that puts you ahead of the competition, gain introductions to the right contacts from a friend of a friend, and continuously expand your business perspective by learning through others.
Some of your most valuable leads will come through your network.
Did you get a tip about a great sales candidate for your team who was starting to think about making a change?
Maybe a contact made during an industry association meeting referred your last big client.
In my Fractional VP Sales role, one of the core areas I focus on is helping sellers understand how to maximize filling their sales pipeline.
You want to be intentional about investing 1-on-1 time to develop certain network segments that have the potential of becoming lead reciprocating relationships.
For example, I give special attention to my Referral Partner networking segment. In my business, these contacts provide complementary services to my target market at the same buyer persona level and in the same geographic footprint.
These are contacts I recognize have the potential to become helpful resources in the Business Ecosystem I maintain to holistically serve my clients.
There are many time demands on top executives, sales leaders, and salespeople. This is the common objection I hear for why these revenue-focused professionals don’t get around to networking or don’t do nearly enough of it.
The key to becoming a well-connected networker doesn’t happen overnight. It needs to be a consistent, manageable focus applied to the normal course of business while also naturally spilling into one’s personal life.
It’s about always keeping your eyes open for an opportunity to make a new connection, even in places you wouldn’t expect it. The instant you can build trust through an impromptu conversation, it’s the best lead you could ever get.
On social media, it’s easy to get lost in the noise. Every day the high-impact contacts you are looking to connect with are being spammed by competitors or other industry-related offers.
A well-thought-out cookie-cutter message to targeted contacts might get you an accepted LinkedIn connection, but that’s it. Instead, take some time to research your target. Understand their challenges and find ways you can help without selling to them.
Your objective is to stimulate interactive communication with new contacts by reaching out to them with intentionality that reflects why you want to connect.
Ultimately, your objective is that preliminary correspondence elevates voice-to-voice contact so a meaningful relationship can be built.
I am part of a national group of Senior Sales Leaders who collaborate to share insights like the examples shown in this article. We formed because of our shared passion to help business leaders exponentially grow their revenue.