Networking is a good thing…most of the time:
Connecting with the right people, surrounding yourself with potential centers of influence and growing to the status of Trusted Advisor amongst your peers. These are all good activities and should be part of your sales strategy.
But, can you actually network too much?
The answer is YES!
Some people are what I like to call serial networkers.
They typically are very extroverted – so they get their energy from other people. They love a good chamber event, thrive with a microphone in their hand and are masters of working a room. Their calendar rivals the Queen of England’s and they are always complaining how busy they are. BUT…their sales numbers don’t reflect the activity.
Let’s dissect what’s happening here.
There is a huge difference between suspects and prospects: A suspect is just a name – someone you meet at a networking event, a business card that gets added to the Rolodex. A Prospect is someone who is qualified, someone who actually has the potential to do business with you.
- Serial Networkers typically will have many suspects and few prospects – hence the lower conversion rates in their pipelines.
- There is an added danger as well: Serial Networkers have a false sense of pipeline “goodness” – because they see thousands of names in their pipeline and they are working 60+ hours a week they think eventually they will be the top dog sales guy or gal. Sure they will convert a few – it’s a numbers game, but burn-out will happen way before that. That Top Dog status probably isn’t going to happen.
Reel them in.
If you have a salesperson that is the Chamber of Commerce King or Queen yet they never seem to hit their numbers – it’s time to reel them in.
- Divide and Conquer their Pipeline. Make them qualify and quantify what they have before adding anymore
- Make them choose only the networking events that fit their Ideal Client Profile – where will they get the best bang for their buck
- Make sure they have long term follow up activity for each person that gets added to their pipeline.
- Having a focused salesperson is far more important than having a busy one.
Struggling to get your sales team focused and hitting their numbers?
Perhaps it’s time we had a conversation.
Founder and Managing Partner
Sandler - Peak Sales Performance
Learn more about Ed at http://www.linkedin.com/in/edschultek