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.
Check out this 6 Step Strategy to Turn a #Networking Call into an Effective #Sales Call Click To Tweet
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!
I thought I had ordered the book when it was $4.99 and the offer for the extras was there.
I was preparing for surgery and it appears I never finished placing the order. Yes I am asking for a little help to help the non-profit I volunteer with.
I don’t mind paying the full price of the book, but is there a way to get your training that you offered that went with the first offer months ago?
I had been looking forward to receiving the book in the mail as it was first listed. I couldn’t figure out why it was not here yet. It is part of my post op goals to read. So I looked back at amazon and do not see that the order went through. Can you provide any help?
Hi Christine, once you purchase the book, send your receipt in to Margaret at email@example.com. She’ll get you registered for the course. Thanks for your support!
I am so thrilled for you, congrats on the success of your comming book.
I also ordered it and here are my details: Order #D01-6011964-6099430
Placed on Thursday, May 28, 2015
Looking forward to being on your course and receiving the book.
Have a nice weekend,
Jette Bilberg Lauritsen
Jette, thanks so much for ordering! If you haven’t done so yet, make sure to forward your receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org. Once we receive that, we’ll get you signed up for the course.
I did order from Amazon. Here is my confirmation number Order Summary #D01-7018193-8110468 but I couldn’t figure out how to get it to you! Please sign me up for the course.
Alice, thanks for ordering! You should receive an email from us with the next steps. You can respond to that by attaching your receipt from the purchase. Let me know if you have any issues!
Josh, excited about your book and look forward to receiving and reading it.
Any idea how much the postage will be for shipping to Florida? You do ship to Florida, right? I have been telling my friends about this book.
Thanks for spreading the word Je! We do ship to Florida and we’ll cover the shipping, so don’t worry about that.
Do you ship to Canada?
Ron, we do ship to Canada!
Good to hear you ship to Canada! Already booked my copy! Very excited about June 15th!
I appreciate that Diana! We’re pumped for the 15th too!
Great brief, Joshua! Like your style and it’s something that can be used within and outside of LinkedIn prospecting. I’ve been working with my associates on the grand tradition of asking the questions that get you to “yes”. That includes in person networking and all other forms of contact.
Probably good for social interactions, as well!
Did order your book. Thanks.
Really appreciate that Deborah. Enjoy the book!
That took the cold out of cold calling, and would also have prepared the recipient to connect mentally and emotionally.
Excellent article, Josh! I’ve used a similar message and followed these steps during calls, with very positive results. Sometimes the person does not need what we offer but thinks of someone else who might and makes the introduction.
I try to apply the approach recommended in Wallace Wattles’ 1911 classic, The Science of Getting Rich (chapter 14): to focus on “adding increase” or “advancing” the other person during any interaction. Listening and asking questions that cause them to think are two of the best ways to serve others. That book is in the public domain and can be read free here: http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Science_of_Getting_Rich
Looking forward to reading your book – already ordered a copy!
Thanks, Meredith! I’m not familiar with Wattles’ book, but I couldn’t agree more with the concept!