The Importance Of A Networking Strategy To Generate Sales

Business networking is one of the most efficient ways of generating sales. But many executives who attend meetings are actually disappointed without a plan of action. You will deepen the connections with existing contacts and learn about your market with networking. This article provides information on the importance of a networking strategy to generate sales for your business.

Even though most businesses have a marketing plan, only 20% of them have an effective networking strategy. Just ask yourself how much of your business comes from referrals and direct networking, and you will be surprised to find out that more than 80% of your sales come from these sources. Even if you don’t have a large marketing budget, you need an effective networking strategy since much of your business comes from these sources.

Online and offline networking will generate enquiries, provide useful information about your business, and deepen relationships. Yet, most businesses don’t consider networking important enough and do it in an ad-hoc way. Hence, it won’t generate the potential results it could have generated for your business. If you are looking for online networking events then see here.

Step-1 – Identifying The Reasons For Networking

First, ask yourself the following questions and rank them in order of importance.

Are you networking to:

. Retain existing relationships?
. Find new contacts?
. Improve career prospects such as finding another job within the company?
. Benefit from support such as a sponsor or a mentor?
. Set up a team of experts?
. Position yourself as an expert in the industry?
. Increase the knowledge of your market or the factors that influence client buying decisions?
. Motivate the team and strengthen the relationships with co-workers?

Step-2 – Identifying Your KPIs

Every person you meet can add value to your network. Make sure you add the person as a contact as soon as you meet someone interesting. You can estimate the number of contacts you need to meet according to your marketing goals. For example, if you have a new business, the contacts in your monthly action plan would look like this:

. Get 50 clients and ask them for introductions and referrals
. Know 20 potential clients and develop a better relationship by referring to their online content or attending events with them
. Joining a membership organisation and meeting prospective clients
. Connect with the sales staff within the specific organisation
. If you already have 5 introduced, you should ask for referrals
. Increase the introduction to 10 via online and offline networking
. Make a minimum of 15 contacts
. The maximum required is 75 contacts

In case you want to increase knowledge of your industry, market, or factors that influence client buying decisions, your monthly action plan will look like this:

. Ask 10 key customers for feedback on your latest offer
. Ask 10 key customers for feedback on how to refine your existing offer
. Speak to 5 existing suppliers
. Speak to 5 potential suppliers about new offers
. Research 5 competitors about marketing strategies, pricing, and customer base
. Minimum 15 contacts

Step-3 – Identifying Contacts

  • Make a list of your current customers where you could ask for referrals
  • Make a list of introduced including accountants, employees, non-executive directors, and suppliers
  • Make a list of networking or membership organisations that you could join
  • Make a list of requests you need from these organisations such as feedback on your latest offers
  • Make a list of the names of the people you want to develop a relationship with. See what events these people are attending and try to attend these events
  • Now you have an effective networking strategy to easily achieve your marketing goals.