6 Step Strategy to Turn a Networking Call into an Effective Sales Call
This is an excerpt from my new book Connect which comes out on June 15. Be sure to lock in your free copy today!
We’ve all been there.
The good ole “networking call.” And whether or not it’s a call, a coffee, a lunch, or whatever….
…the problem remains the same.
How can we turn these networking conversations into productive sales calls?
Let’s step back for a second and look at how you might have arrived here. One approach would be to send a LinkedIn message similar to this one:
I’m trying to get to know my connections on LinkedIn a little better so that we both might benefit from being connected. We’ve been crossing paths on LinkedIn for the past couple of months and I’d love to schedule a quick call.
Would you have a few minutes to chat next week? How does your calendar look next Wednesday morning?
You can see how this is positioned as more of a networking call.
The prospect isn’t necessarily telling you that they want what you’re selling. They’re agreeing to chat, to learn more about each other’s businesses.
Here’s how to handle those conversations.
Step 1: Ask them about their business.
Think about what things you have in common, and bring up small talk around those issues. You can talk about the industry, people you both know, things like that. “Tell me more about what you’re up to these days?” is a great opening question.
Step 2: Follow-up
Once they start telling you about their business, keep asking follow-up questions. Be genuinely interested in what they’re telling you! Spend the first 10 minutes talking exclusively about them and their business.The key to #sales calls is being genuinely interested in what they’re telling you! Click To Tweet
Step 3: Explore their pain points.
During this conversation, listen for pain points and needs they have. Ask questions strategically to get to these issues. The more questions you ask, the more people will open up!
Step 4: Casually position your solution.
Come back to them and say “Honestly Danny, I wasn’t sure where this conversation would go. But I figured since we’ve been crossing paths there might be some benefit to learning more about what each other is up to. What I heard you say earlier about X, Y, Z…it really made me think that you might be interested to hear about what my company does. Because we’ve worked with a lot of companies similar to yours like A, B, and C (name drop some companies similar to theirs), and solved X, Y, and Z by doing D, E, and F (your solution). Does that sound like something you’d be interested in hearing more about?
Step 5: Get their buy-in.
If done right, the prospect will say, “Yeah, sure” 99% of the time. If it’s framed the right way, a smart business person will feel stupid by not agreeing to at least hear you out.
Step 6: Discuss your solution and next steps.
Talk to them about your solution and get them to a next step. That could be a second conversation, an in-person meeting, or maybe a proposal. Whatever it is, the goal of the initial call is to move the prospect toward this next step.
Simple as that!
Naturally, not every prospect will move from a networking call to becoming a client. But that’s sales, it’s a numbers game. Some percentage will move deeper in your funnel. The rest can be moved into a more long term nurture bucket.
For more strategies like this, and to learn how to build a LinkedIn system that produces high quality leads in a way that also positions you as a leader and authority in your market, pick up a copy of my new book Connect. It comes out soon, and I’m super pumped about it, to say the least!