Archive for the ‘Networking’ Category

Are Rain Makers born or are they made?

February 10, 2012
Rain Making

Rain Making?

There are many clichés and adages in sales training; “People buy from people they know, like and trust” is one of my favourites – because it’s so true.  The key job for all of us who have a product or service to sell is to become known, liked and trusted in our market place.

There are many ways in which you can do this, including:

  • writing blogs and articles
  • giving presentations
  • staying in touch with clients after the job is done
  • developing questioning and listening skills
  • becoming astute at spotting opportunities
  • and networking.

Ford Harding, the man who coined the phrase “Rain Making” to describe the processes needed to generate good quality leads, recommends all of the above. A “rain maker” brings in more business to her firm than she can service herself. Any business would love to have more Rain Makers in its employ.

Harding makes the point in the introduction to his book “Rain Making” that “whilst many firms offer in-house training on technical issues… marketing & sales training is…” and I quote, “…spotty.”

Out Networking

Working the Room?

When we go networking we see that not everyone is good at it.  Many actually undermine their likeability, trustworthiness to a point where people just don’t want to know them! It’s often because they put too much pressure on themselves to sell. They don’t. They get frustrated. They give up.

At New Tricks we train people to network properly… we help to create Rain Makers.

Our top tips for Networkers include:

  • Rather than focussing on generating business, first focus on becoming known, liked and trusted.  It’s unlikely business will flow until those qualities are established.
  • Develop a succinct “elevator pitch” that describes how you help your clients– rather than just listing what you and your firm do!
  • Get there early – it’s much easier to introduce yourself to new arrivals.
  • Smile, say “hello” and ask lots of questions
  • Target yourself to meet at least five new people and to find out what they do. Look for a co-incidence
  • Make an effort to remember and use people’s names in conversation – it impresses and really help establish rapport
  • Follow-up with people you’ve met – a “follow-up cup of coffee” is a more realistically achievable outcome than a bit of business.

For other blog posts on Networking see How to remember People’s Names and Are you Networking or Just Connecting

I recommend the latest edition of Ford Harding’s book Rainmaking: Attract New Clients No Matter What Your Field – here’s what others thought.

Please buy it from your local Independent Bookshop though. Mine’s Jaffé & Neale

Happy Christmas Everybody!

December 12, 2010

Are you Networking or just Connecting?

July 7, 2010
Networking is a funny old thing and often hugely misunderstood. I recently heard a self-appointed networking ‘guru’ tell an audience of aspiring business professionals that had they not got business by the second visit to a networking group, to abandon it. “Move on, ” he said with a sweep of his arm, “don’t waste your time.”


“Rubbish!” I thought. But thinking about it I guess he was talking about connecting – not networking. A connection is merely  a link between two points and can be a perfectly valid way to seek business. You identify your market and then organise, or seek, a gathering of your potential customers or introducers. Get it right, do a good job and it could generate business. If you find that there is absolutely no connection then certainly move on. But why limit yourself to just a few (or four) connections.

Networking is quite different; it is not just a connection between two points but links between many, many points. When you are networking you have to recognise that your job is not to try to sell your product or service, rather to sell yourself. It isn’t just about the people in the room, it’s also about all the people that they know and, indeed, all the people known to you. That means that given everyone has roughly 250 acquaintances then anyone you’d like to meet is only five contacts away.
A Network

A Network

Only after a period of time (i.e. more than two meetings) do you start to develop deep relationships with people who you like as you get to know them better. Once you have established a good level trust others become confident in you and thus more likely to introduce you to the folk in their network. And, of course, you become actively excited to seek opportunities for them. This inevitably takes longer to develop but instead of a one-off sale from a connection (if you are lucky), you’ll find yourself involved with a network of friends and referrers that will deliver business, yes, but also information and support for years to come.

And then we come to the other thing that got my goat about this ‘guru’s’ talk – he said, “Networking is about one thing and one thing only… Business.” Really?

What I do know is, that like many people, if I meet someone who focusses purely on pitching their product or service I metaphorically “run a mile” (I could just about manage it literally but it would be terribly inconvenient.)

Had I been training that room of fledgling networkers I’d have said completely the opposite. That networking is NOT just about business. It’s NOT about selling or badgering people about your business nor is it about putting people on the spot. If you do that then please don’t come back for a third meeting – you’ll not be welcome  – you’ll need to find somewhere else to go!

People buy from people that they know, like and trust, so that’s the primary objective of networking, surely, getting people to the stage where they know you, like you and trust you. Once you have established relationships and given of yourself then a whole new world opens up: you find new suppliers, you meet new friends, you get free advice, you get market intelligence, you get useful information, you gain support, encouragement, feedback for your ideas, solutions to your problems, the list goes on.


There, I’ve got that off my chest.