How to become more effective at Networking Events – Part 16

Be Interesting

Imagine attending a networking event where you meet a lot of people. Some are dressed nice, some have interesting offers and some have interesting perspectives, but most of the people you meet quickly fade from your memory. These corportate clones sink into the sea of sameness.

Then you spot her from across the room. She is the one holding court with the crowd around her hanging on her every word.

You ask yourself, “Why are so many people attracted to her?” (remember this is a business blog)

You ask yourself, “What makes her so interesting?”

And more importantly you ask yourself, “How can I become that interesting?”

You think about how knowing those secrets would

help you meet new prospects…

help you make more connections…

and help you generate more business.

After thinking to yourself for a moment you decide that you have to meet her and ask her what her secrets to attracting people are.

After taking a sip of your drink and mustering up some courage, you approach the crowd and the first thing you notice is…

To be continued….

How to become more effective at Networking Events – Part 15

Be Proud of what you do

When you attend a networking event it is important to remember what you are really selling. What is the benefit that you bring to the table for your customers. It is important to keep this top of mind. Other wise you may feel like you are selling at people instead of helping your customers buy. (Big difference)

Focus on the benefits.

Your job is to look for people that can use those benefits and communicate them in a compelling way, so they want to explore how you can help them further.

And if you don’t see how the benefits that you bring to the table help others, my advice would be to find something else to do. Instead of trying to sell something you don’t believe in, invest the time to find something you do believe in. Not only will selling become easier, but your life will become more fulfilling.

Which is more attractive?

Which do you think is more attractive?


A few years ago I was working on a project with a major Funeral Services company, where I was designing a couple of training programs for their Advanced Planning Professionals.

These are the folks that sell Advanced Funeral Plans.  

Talk about having an ugly service to sell. I took the gig, because I figured that if I can make that sexy, I could make anything sexy.

They were struggling and one of the reasons was that they were focusing on selling features and not benefits.



One of the things I told them to do; was to stop selling caskets and stop selling urns… because folks just don’t want to talk about those things until they absolutely have to. swers to both of these questions is “Yes”.

Instead talk about how there are 67 things they need to do within 24 hours of having a loved one passing away,they don’t know what the list is, and it’s the worst day of their life.

If we could take some of that pain and stress away from their family on that day… is that something you think they would be willing to talk about? Also, since most funerals are payable upon delivery and since the average cost is around $10,000, if they could take away some of that financial stress from their family, again on the worst day of their life, is that something you think they would be willing to talk about.
The an

When you focus on what benefits they will receive and how it will help them personally, that is what makes your products sexy, not the features. Sure you need to features to back up your benefit claims, but you will not sell much when you only tell the features.

Because if they ask them whether their customer wants a wood one or a metal one and then add that when they throw 6 feet of dirt on top of it, the metal one will just dint, but the wood one will break in half. They will have their customers running for the hills, because that conversation is just not attractive.


You don’t sell this way? Do you?

A few years ago, I was shopping for a new vehicle, when I was approached by the sales consultant who I call “Zack the Hack”.

After identifying which vehicle I was interested (the one I was looking at) Zack proceeded to tell me all the features of the vehicle. He told me some things I knew about, a lot of things I didn’t know about and even some  frankly, I didn’t care about. 

Do you think he got the sale?

If you said no, you are correct.

Why not?

What did Zach do wrong?

Was it:

  1. Because he focused on the car, not me and my needs
  2. Because he didn’t ask any (or enough) questons to determine my needs
  3. Because he went straight to the presentation
  4. Because he told me the features of the car, instead of selling me the benefits of the car
  5. All of the above

 If you answered “5. All of the above” , give yourself a gold star and pat on the back.

When you are selling anything you need to focus on the customer and their needs, determine if your product or service will satisfy those needs and then effectively present your product’s benefits and features in a way linking them to your customer’s needs.

Unfortunately, Zack did none of that. And the result was NO SALE.

My 10 + 2 Favourite Books on Selling

My Top 10 + 2 Favourite Books on Selling

10. Buying Trances by Joe Vitale

9. Artful Persuasion by Harry Mills

8. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

7. The One Minute Sales Person by Spencer Johnson

6. Customers for Life by Carl Sewell

5. SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham

4. Raving Fans (or anything by Ken Blanchard)

3. First Things First (or anything by Stephen Covey)

2. Selling to the Top by David Peoples

1. Bible by GOD

1.1 The Little Red Book of Selling (or anything by Jeffrey Gitomer)

1.2 The Greatest Salesman in the World (or anything by Og Mandino)

Reading as a resource to learn how to sell, manage, coach,or lead

Here is my answer to a question recently posted on LinkedIn.  

Do you think sales professionals can include reading as one of their resources of learning to sell, to manage, to coach, to lead? 

“Absolutely!!! I believe a Sales Professional MUST include reading as one of his/her sources of learning how to sell, manage, coach or lead. There are a lot of mistakes that you can make performing those actions and the smart professional realizes that they don’t have to make them all himself.

They can learn from reading how others made mistakes and what they learned from those mistakes. This is a HUGE time saver on the learning curve. However, it is just one of the sources they need to include in their learning plan.” 

To view my LinkedIn profile click here

How to become more effective at Networking Events – Part 14

Respect other people’s personal space

When you are trying to connect with people it is important to realize that we all have an invisable barrier around us called our personal space.

This comfort zone is usually about an arms length all around us.

The closer emotionally we are to someone the closer physically we will allow them to come and still feel comfortable.  Because I have a close relationship with my wife and my kids, I can allow them to enter my comfort zone and still feel comfortable.  However, if a networking partner crossed that barrier, I would feel incredibly uncomfortable. 

I demonstrate this during my training with sales professionals, where I will start to talk about this subject and then just walk up and stand close to someone, intentionally violating their personal space. After talking for a minute I turn to that person and ask “Is this making you feel uncomfortable?” They always say, “Yes”.  Then I ask, them to repeat the last 3 sentences that I said and they can’t. Why? Because when someones enters your personal space it distract them so much that they can’t concentrate on what you are saying.

Not a good way to start a relationship.

You have to earn the right to enter their comfort zone.

When you are just meeting someone for the first time, you haven’t earned anything yet.  In fact, you will never earn that right with 99% of the people you meet. But that is O.K. In the business world you will build the relationship faster, by respecting their personal space.  

And in regards to touching. Handshakes are an acceptable form of touch in most business cultures, but if you are a hugger, wait until you build the relationship further and are invited into their personal space before proceeding.

Remember it is about connecting with them on their terms and if you violate this principle, you will be pushing them away instead of drawing them closer.