Networking 101 – How do you filter Prospects from Suspects?



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The Sales and Marketing landscape has changed drastically in the past few years with the growth of Digital and Social Media. Therefore the time has come for you to look at your existing new business acquisition strategy and brush up or improve your existing networking skills. In the coming weeks we are going to provide you with valued insight in to how to Network better.

Promotional Products will provide you with no better means to help you network effectively, and well thought out collateral will make you stand out from the crowd. Business Cards, as good as they are in encapsulating all of your relevant details, still end up in a box in a drawer. Where you want your name and message to live is ‘front and centre’ on people’s Desks, in their Cars, Bags and/or Homes. Promotional Products will give your Brand that exposure as long as they are relevant and useful.

Tip 1: Do you know who you want to meet – How do you filter Prospects from Suspects?

Not everyone you meet will be important or relevant to you and your business going forward. What you need to identify is who are the most important people for you to meet, and then organise and communicate with them accordingly.

A simple classification system is a good place to start.

A List: These are contacts that are well connected within your industry, business community, and are likely to help you immediately or quickly achieve your business objectives. For instance they may become an advocate of your brand, become a good source of referrals, an introducer or potentially a new client.

B List: These are contacts that you have met and enjoyed their interaction and you will see them around and about at various events, but they are unlikely to immediately help you achieve your business objectives.

C List: These are contacts that you meet, but are very unlikely to have any impact on your future business activities.

Remember this system is different for everyone and should be applicable to your individual needs and can if required have additional lists. Once you have built a system that works for you then you can actively employ this classification system when you are out networking and manage your interactions accordingly. For instance an A List contact could receive a promotional goody that you have taken with you; a B List contact will receive a business card; and C list people may not even receive anything.

Remember not everyone is going to want to do business with you and in turn, you will not want to do the same. So once you have identified and understood this, you can begin to employ a system to filter out the prospects from the suspects. This will help you become a better networker and help you building better business relationships with those who will potentially become mutually beneficial contacts to you and your business.

Happy Networking…

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