There are 7 primary strategies or ways to build up your network. One of them is actually doing less networking but cultivating your relationships with your existing contacts. It’s an approach I sadly overlooked back when I was selling insurance for a healthcare company.
My mistake: go out networking, deliver my pitch to lots of people, come away with a few business cards and wait for the phone to ring. When it didn’t (surprise surprise!) I’d go out to more networking events and get in even more cards. Sure, you can see the futility of that right now, but I couldn’t then. It cost me.
Truth is, very few people nurture the connections they already have, and leverage those for further business opportunities. So to help you, here’s a quick but powerful two-part script you should weave into your conversations with your current prospects, customers, clients and connections. It will hopefully open up more opportunities for cross-selling, up-selling and referrals.
“Could we be doing more business together?”
This is a great question, because it’s really hard to say ‘no’ to. Variations include:
Could we be supporting each other a bit more?
Could we working together more effectively?
Could we be helping each other more than we are?
So when they say ‘yes’ or ‘I guess so’ or ‘I’m sure we can’ then here’s your follow up:
Yes, I thought so too. What do you think that might look like?
How do you think we could do that?
What would be a good next step?
Then enjoy talking about all the great things you can do together.
These couple of questions are perfect for conversations with your existing contacts, customers, clients and introducers. You can weave them into business or social situations. One client of mine asked the question to a key introducer as they walked up the steps to WImbledon Centre Court for a final. Corporate Hospitality, client meetings, informal coffees or beers, networking events – these are all good times to sow this opportunity creating script.
Remember if you work your existing netork better, you don’t need to be out there attending loads more networking events to create new contacts.