Mary Kay, Amway, Thirty One Gifts, Avon. All of these companies have been consistently successful using one timeless sales mantra: people who know you are more likely to buy than people who don’t. And the closer they are to you, the more they tend to buy.
Now I’m not saying your new sales strategy should be to sell staffing services to your relatives. However, I think we can all agree that knowing the person you are selling to significantly increase your chances of closing the deal. Then why is it that most staffing sales people don’t do nearly enough networking, opting instead to call strangers all day?
The primary reason is that is what they are told to do by their boss. The second reason is that it takes a commitment and some patience from both the sales rep and sales manager. It also takes some skill, as effective networking is more than just showing up (although that’s a good start).
Networking should be an integral, and significant part of your sales strategy. Your ultimate goal and approach to your market should be to personally know all of your prospects. This isn’t done by just cold calling – although you will at least get to know their voice as you listen to their voice mail message over and over again. Instead, you need to identify where your prospects network, whom they network with, and how you can get involved and get noticed.
I recommend spending at least 25% of your time networking starting out, and as you build your network that percentage will increase (while your dependency on cold calling decreases). Talk to your manager about your plan so they understand why you are spending so much time networking, and refer back to some of my previous blogs on how to network. With a little patience, a lot of persistence, and a solid plan, you will be able to reap the benefits of developing a strong network. And you’ll be able to afford all those handbags, perfumes, and cleaning supplies your friends are selling!