For members of your sales team, there may be no skill more critical to lead generation than relationship building. So why is almost everyone astoundingly bad at it? The reason, or so I suspect, is that networking is a very nuanced and highly subjective social dance with few set rules. Here are 5 dos and don’ts of lead generation.
1. Being pushy or demanding
What to do: Give him some space. Wait a week, and then follow up. If he still doesn’t get back to you, then take the hint.
2. Asking before you offer
What to do: Networking, especially for lead generation, is a two-way street. Bring something to the table. Offer your time, expertise, connections or insights first.
3. Failing to respect a connection’s time
What to do: Regardless of where your connection falls in the hierarchy, a coffee meeting or phone call should fall within his schedule. Give as much notice as you can. And be sure to follow up after the meeting to thank him for his time.
4. Neglecting your research
What to do: If you want someone to make time for you, take five minutes to Google her. It’s not hard to develop an understanding of what she does and what her background is. It will also help you understand how your product or service can best help her ?deliver on her goals?.
5. Failing to follow up.
What to do: It’s pretty simple, really. Keep your prospect list updated, and follow up with a call or email a day or two after your first meeting.
No one’s perfect when it comes to networking. It’s hard. It’s subjective. It can and will be frustrating from time to time. But avoiding these mistakes is the first step toward making meaningful connections for your business. And one more piece of advice: if you invite someone to coffee, for goodness’ sake, pay for the coffee.
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