Zero to 100: The Gold Standard of Global Networking was written by Joseph Luckett as a blueprint to efficient and measurable networking through REAL-ationship-building and a focus on the value you contribute.
There’s nothing worse than sitting down with someone who immediately launches into trying to sell you something.
Everyone knows a sales pitch when they hear one. They often sound rehearsed and don’t fit in with the natural conversation, but worst of all, they’re ineffective in the context of networking. In fact, they’re just like cold calls.
Nobody likes a cold call, so why would you meet with someone to deliver a cold call to their face?
For the person you’re meeting with to really grasp what you’re after and become an advocate for what you do, you need to communicate the value that you’re bringing.
The value you’re bringing is not just what you’re selling—it’s your network itself. You might not always be able to directly help the person you’re meeting with, but chances are that someone in your network can!
“But what do I get out of that?” you might be thinking.
Let’s put that question to rest and take a different approach to networking.
If you approach networking by prioritizing other people’s needs before your profit—if you lead with an intent to give rather than an intent to sell—you will make sales as a byproduct of that effort.
Remember: People don’t buy a product or service, they buy you.
Your Networking Isn’t Worth the Cost When You Make it About Only You
The truth is that most networkers don’t get enough referrals (pg. 212, Zero to 100: The Gold Standard of Global Networking) or introductions (pg. 211, Zero to 100: The Gold Standard of Global Networking) to justify what they spend on networking.
The average networker spends $2,500 to $7,000 a year, which includes the initial costs of joining a networking group, quarterly dues, weekly dues, food and beverage, and travel expenses (Chapter 8 of Zero to 100: The Gold Standard of Global Networking).
And that’s not even accounting for the amount of time and energy spent on networking. Most people aren’t seeing a good return on investment (ROI) with networking and they end up approaching it with a scarcity mindset. (Remember earlier when you wondered “But what do I get out of it?”).
But when you prioritize the value you can give through networking rather than the value you can get, you set yourself up for a much higher networking return.
The 51/49 Rule
It’s uncommon for someone to come to the table with the intent to give rather than the intent to sell. Many people say they want to help others through networking, but very few actually do it.
One principle I live by is called the 51/49 Rule – I always supply 51% of the value. I want my actions to always reflect the 51/49 Rule by referring more business than I receive and connecting more people than ever before. That kind of generosity builds trust and motivates people to reciprocate.
I know that if I continue getting to know others and connecting people, my business will take care of itself. That’s why giving referrals is the priority, whether or not someone comes through with a referral for me.
It’s about building a trusting REAL-ationship, not about making a sale. Prioritizing your sales might get you some sales, but tending to REAL-ationships by helping others succeed will yield far more sales.
The Value of Building a Diverse Network
To find real success in networking, your network shouldn’t have only people who look or sound like you. Your network should bridge across industries, geographical regions, and cultures.
Having a diverse network is beneficial to you and your business—not only because it opens up so many new opportunities, but because these connections also help create bridges over prejudice.
If you can help dissolve prejudice-based tensions simply by connecting people, and your business can flourish as a result, why not do it?
When It Comes Time to Receive Value
After you’ve provided some value to the person you’re meeting with and the focus shifts to you, how do you avoid spoiling the bond you’ve built by dropping a cold sales pitch on them?
Education is key.
You offer a unique solution to a problem that they may not know exists. Educate them about both: the problem and your unique solution. You can do this effectively through our Elevator Speech process (Chapter 4 of Zero to 100: The Gold Standard of Global Networking).
Remember, you’re not telling this person about what you offer to sell to them. They may never even need what you’re offering. But when you’re able to clearly communicate what you sell, they’re able to leave your meeting and share with people in their network what you offer. As a result, they become an extension of your sales force!
Come to the Meeting with Hot Value
Ditch the sales pitch. Focus on building a REAL-ationship first and how you can help.
In each meeting, set out to answer the following question: Who could I connect this person with to bring value to their life?
Making sales becomes a lot easier when someone you’ve helped wants you to make a sale.
Effective networking is a process of reciprocity, and it starts with you and me.
Ready to take your networking to the next level? Read Zero to 100: The Gold Standard of Global Networking.