The best sales professionals know their long-term success depends not just on their sales ability, but on their ability to network and expand their professional circle. Sales requires making connections and establishing relationships. The more people you meet and get to know, the more opportunities you will create.
Eric Porat, an entrepreneur and digital marketer, says that if you are not actively making new connections and widening your reach, you are selling yourself short. If you could use some quick pointers on how to upgrade your networking prowess, read on. We share Porat’s top tips on how to improve your networking skills this year in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.
1. Network across multiple platforms. Remember that not everyone uses the same social media platforms and not everyone likes to communicate in the same way. To network effectively, become an expert at all forms of communications, from collaborating on Zoom to sending emails and texts to chatting on Instagram.
2. Listen actively. Another way to improve your networking skills is to learn to listen actively. This means not just thinking of what you want to say next but responding to other people in a way that shows you understand what they are saying. This shows that you are thoughtful, empathetic and invested in others, which is crucial to successful networking, says Porat.
3. Exude optimism. When you are upbeat and friendly, you help make yourself more likeable and memorable. This, in turn, makes others more confident in your business endeavors. Porat says one way you can boost your optimism is by learning how to respond to negative circumstances with an upbeat outlook.
4. Use humor. You don’t have to be the funniest person in the office to use humor to your advantage. Anyone can work on developing their sense of humor in order to improve their networking. Porat says having a good sense of humor goes hand in hand with showing optimism. Humor makes you more human and helps you unite with others on a common ground. Just be sure to keep your humor clean and relatable, he adds.
5. Attend networking events. To improve your networking skills, attend networking events, including virtual ones. Online trade shows, conferences and workshops allow you to practice your skills in a non-stress setting, says Porat. Remember to keep your focus on building genuine connections with people and keep things as organic as possible.
6. Interview people. If you contribute to your company blog or you are conducting industry research, you can make new connections through interviews. Almost everyone is open to an interview if you pitch it well, says Porat. By interviewing someone, you get a chance to get to know them better and demonstrate your optimism and humor. If you do it well, your subjects will remember you.
Networking is a vital skill in sales. You can practice and refine your networking skills in several ways, from incorporating humor into your conversations to attending virtual networking events and asking to interview interesting people. Just like with anything else, the more you practice networking, the better you will get at it. Use the tips above to polish your networking skills in the year ahead.
Compiled by Audrey Sellers and used with permission from PPAI
Source: Eric Porat is a successful online entrepreneur, investor and digital marketer with over 15 years of experience in buying and selling websites.