“If we’ve identified these partners as being important and valuable members of our network, then it’s important that we communicate in a deliberate and systematic way.” – Jack Wilson in today’s Tip 249
When is the last time you met or spoke with your partner/s?
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Scott Ingram: You’re listening to the Daily Sales Tips podcast and I’m your host, Scott Ingram. Today’s tip comes from Jack Wilson of CinchIT on a topic that we probably haven’t touched on enough on the show, so I’m glad Jack decided to go in this direction. Here he is:
Jack Wilson: As a full cycle sales rep, there is no shortage of ways to source new business. We hear the most about cold calls, cold emails, and social selling, but it’s not often that we hear techniques and advice around networking and referral partnerships. By seeking out other professionals in your market and expanding your personal and professional network, you’re able to scale your reach. The more reach the more prospects. The more reach the more members of your network. Networking meetings are a pretty vague term. It can mean a lot of things in a lot of different scenarios. Try thinking about networking as prospecting for partners. A partner, in this case, is anyone who can make valuable introductions to you to key part of networking is work. Many of us treat networking as an ancillary sales activity or as a social function, but if you want to truly magnify your sales efforts, make networking a measurable and repeatable activity. Start by understanding who you want to network with and why. For example, I labeled partners as a tier-one partner. If their customers resemble my ideal customers and there’s a high likelihood that my services can and will come up in conversation while they’re pitching their own. I’m in the IT space, for example. So many of my customers are looking for unified communications. I’d be a perfect tier-one partner for someone selling voice over IP. Once you identified a good partner, how many of you have a structured process to follow to ensure the relationship develops and maintains? Chances are you loosely keep in touch and get together every once in a while. Once in a while, might feel like just a few weeks, but the reality of it is that oftentimes it’s a month or more. How many potential referrals have they met within the meantime? Are you still top of mind? If we’ve identified these partners as being important and valuable members of our network, then it’s important that we communicate in a deliberate and systematic way. Use your CRM tool to schedule a cadence or regular outreach just like you do with your prospects. Be sure to add some sort of value at each contact instead of just checking in. By doing this consistently, you’ll always remain top of mind with your partners. A lot of times you’ll start to notice that your partners reciprocate this as well. Lastly, when it comes to networking and referral partners, don’t limit your value by setting the right expectations. So many times I’ve witnessed a relationship begin with one partner making big promises like “Man, I can bring you a ton of deals.” Then 30 to 60 days in each of the partners begins to sour because the flow of opportunities is slow if not non-existent. Think about how many prospects your partners meet within a month. How many of them do they actually close for themselves? How many of those closes are actual opportunities for you? Play the long game. Develop a strong relationship by positioning yourself as a valued partner that will do the right thing by their referrals when they do come to you. And not someone who just sits there waiting for opportunities to come their way. Think about who you partner with the most. When’s the last time you met with them or spoke with them? Start developing a routine today and follow it for the next few months and watch your partnerships transform.
Then come back tomorrow for another great sales tip. Thanks for listening!