Optimise your business development leads at networking events

 22 May 2017

In the last 15 years, we have seen a massive change in how business leads are generated and sales closed.  The growth of digital technology and improved automation has led to a shift in focus to increasing inbound marketing and sales. 
 
Where does this leave business networking events?  If you are a Business Development Manager or Field Sales Executive, business networking events are still an important source of quality business leads and we asked Kim Masterman, C&D’s Business Development Manager, for some tips for optimising leads at networking events.
 
Be choosy about events
Is your ideal target market going to be present?  The first thing I do on being invited to attend a business networking event is to establish who is going?  If the right businesses are going to be there, count on seeing me there as well.
 
Target a goal
I target specific wins depending on who will be there and how far along they are in the sales funnel.  It might take three or four meetings at various events before you start to register on the radar of a prospective buyer.  Once you do, be sure you are ready to take them to the next level.
 
Ask questions
Taking the time to ask the right questions and listen to the answers is a Business Developer’s 2nd greatest tool.  You can learn so much about the prospect’s pain points by asking questions that get them to talk about the challenges they face.  This gives you the knowledge needed to pitch a solution that will solve the prospect’s immediate concern.
By asking questions you can also pick up good intel on competitors, new prospective buyers in your territory or an innovative approach to business you can take back to your Operations or Marketing Department.
 
Posture awareness
We know that first impressions count and assuming a good posture can make a significant difference to how we are perceived by others.  It also makes a difference to our own perceptions.  By just pulling back your shoulders and lifting your chin, your body releases chemicals that boost confidence and reduce the stress hormone, cortisol.
 
Follow through
Get onto social media and thank the organisers.  Include prospects by hash-tagging them as well.  Ask your new contact/s to connect with you on LinkedIn and follow through by offering them your standard free trial or consultation if you reckon they are at that place in the sales funnel.
The big advantage of networking is you can use words, your voice, facial expression and body language.  Kim emphasises that building a network of professional relationships through consistent networking is key to a successful business development career. 
 
Kim has 15 years’ experience in Strategic Account Management and Business Development.  In just 7 months with C&D, Kim has been instrumental in generating numerous leads by networking and following these through to secure new business opportunities for the company with an outstanding rate of success.
With a strong recruitment background, Kim is in an excellent position to offer employers tailored solutions to hiring temporary, part-time and permanent staff.
 
For helpful advice on finding a new job, see C&D’s library of advice for job seekers – Job Seeker Resources.
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If you found this advice useful or have other queries about job seeking and how to land your ideal job, please email marketing@cdrecruitment.co.uk or call us on
Tel. +44 (0) 1793 488057.
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