One of the easiest ways to increase sales is through networking
and one of the best ways to network is to network easily. What I
mean by this is to do things that come naturally to you.
Some of the ideas that can be helpful for networking are:
1. Join groups that you would be interested in joining. For
example, if you like to run, join a running group; if you like
to play bridge, join a bridge group; if you would like to go to
church, become a member of a congregation. Joining a group just
for the sake of networking, generally doesn't work.
2. Volunteer to speak at events. You can start by speaking to
small groups and then in time you can become more selective and
speak to larger groups. Toastmasters is an excellent group to
join to improve your speaking ability as well as another
3. Write articles. There is something that makes someone seem
like an expert when they write an article on a specific topic.
Articles are easy to write if you are passionate about what you
are writing about. There are also hundreds of publications that
are hungry for material. Again, you will have to start small
with local publications and work up to other publications. No
one wants to publish you? Use some of the free online services
or do a
blog (which can be a great networking tool on its own).
4. Keep a Rolodex (I use Outlook) and keep it organized. Ideally
include not only names and address but also a few points of
interest about the person or their business.
5. Keep in touch with people. The best way to do this is to know
what interests the people have and then send them personalized
emails or notes with articles of interest attached. Do this with
no intention of them buying but the more they know you, the more
they will tend to buy.
6. Become an expert: Becoming an expert in any field is simple
to do. First pick a topic that you are passionate about and then
spend an hour a day reading trade journals; going to trade
shows; and learning about that topic. Within six to eight weeks,
you will be close to an expert in that field and people will
turn to you for solutions.
7. Be generous: People tend to link happy occasions with gifts.
Be prolific with gifts; for example, baby gifts - you will find
that people are very grateful that you remembered their special
8. Follow-through: If you are trying to sell a product to a
customer, make sure that you follow up with them so you can make
the sale. Many times people will provide the information on the
product and will tell the customer that they will get back to
them, but don't, so the sale falls through.
9. If you are going to be out there, work the room: What I mean
by this is why go to a function and sit only with the people
that you already know. No need to sit in the corner when you can
mingle with new people and get to know them. This skill does not
come naturally to introverted people; however, it is something
that can be easily learned by stepping out of your comfort zone.
People tend to buy from people they know. Become more known and
sell more. This is one way smaller companies and beat larger
companies any day.