Guiding verses Getting, how do you approach networking? I recently read something that made total sense to me after attending a networking event where I was flabbergasted (Yes, I used that word and I really was!) to hear someone I’ve known for years talk about networking organizations as if she is judging them by the clients she will “Get” out of it. It saddens me to hear people approach networking as if they are stalking the room and making pre-judgements as to who will be their next client.

Yes, knowing who and where your ideal clients are hanging out is important. Business and clients are the life blood of your work, but once you’ve settled on a group, stop looking for your next victim and start looking for ways to connect and build relationships. It takes time, be willing to develop your network before judging harshly and moving on.

Here is part of what I read in and article called Sales Lesson #1: Don’t “Get” Your Customers to Do Anything!  by Andy Rudin

 If you ask top producing sales reps – those who truly serve customers – how they “get” their customers to buy, they’d probably be confused by the question. Instead, they’d reveal that they don’t get their customers to do anything. What produces their excellent results is their ability to guide their customers, and ultimately help them achieve good outcomes.

Guiding versus Getting: these are fundamentally different approaches, with little in common. Guiding assumes prospects can be trusted, Getting assumes they cannot. Guiding sees prospects as partners, Getting sees them as objects. Guiding views prospects as capable decision makers, Getting views them as inept. Guiding relies on inquiry and collaborationGetting relies on telling and insistence. In countless interviews I’ve held with successful sales professionals, I’ve learned they embrace Guiding in every customer interaction, and eschew Getting.

“How to get your prospect to [fill in the blank]!” What regularly emerges are manipulative high-pressure sales tactics that break customer rapport and erode trust. Instead of improving sales outcomes and buying experiences, the resulting behaviors and activities undermine them.

The top producers I’ve worked with have figured out a better way and honed their skills accordingly. They begin with a natural curiosity and connect it to a sincere desire to understand customer problems, limitations, issues, concerns, performance gaps, and strategic challenges. They uncover the intensity of motivation to change the situation and learn the mechanisms their customers have developed for investing in solutions. And if customers lack the mechanisms, top producers guide them to create a path forward.

Three and a half paragraphs make so much sense to me. All too often I see people who act as if they are on the hunt for their next victim when it comes to business. Mostly they are acting out of desperation, especially when they are new to business. They miss the one key element that inspires someone to want to be a client and most often causes them to become a client for life and that is relationship.

Networking is about relationships. It’s about nurturing and developing those connections and conversations that support one another. It’s not about what can I sell you today, it’s about how can I serve you today. It starts with inquiry and collaboration, spending time listening and supporting someone.

Help others grow and you’ll grow too. Help others achieve and you’ll achieve too. Help others dream bigger and you’ll dream bigger. Start looking for opportunities to help others and serve your network. Be a good listener by asking and good questions, find out what their current needs are.

If you can meet that need, great! If you know of someone else who can meet that need, even better! Make an introduction. This creates trust and deep connection with your network and the people they will introduce you to.

Be intentional about helping others, know your audience, and be willing to serve with no other motive than to support your network with their best interest at heart. Make it about them and you will experience more growth than you ever imagined possible.

At 30 Second Success we help people understand the benefits of using networking as a marketing strategy and developing those connection skills that create those deep relationships that customers crave. Are you ready to Ditch the Pitch and Start Connecting™? Contact us today.

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