Networking – How to Work the Numbers

women-networkingSometimes I come across an article that’s so succinct, smart and useful I have to share it! This is one of those articles from our friends over at The Wake County Women Business Owners Network. I’m not one to get caught up in numbers when I’m networking – it’s just not how I do business. But these tips might just have me rethinking a few things. Read on!

Salespeople are often taught that sales is a numbers game. Master networkers have some demographic knowledge, too. Use these numbers to gauge your success at an open networking event.

  • Speak with six to ten people an hour. After a two hour open networking event check your pocket. You win if you have at least twelve, but not more than 20 business cards. If you haven’t met at least twelve people in two hours you were schmoozing with friends, not networking. If you collected more than 20 cards your conversations weren’t long enough for people to remember you when you follow through with them. Speak with each person you meet for six to ten minutes. Long enough to have a conversation.
  • Half of the people you speak with are prospects. It is unreasonable to think that you will sell your product to everyone you meet. Some people may want it, but are unable to afford it; some people may need it, but don’t want it. Know that about half of the people you speak with are prospective clients. If you have 12 cards, six of those people are waiting to hear from you. Follow through quickly.
  • Half of the prospects are in the immediate market for your product or service. If you met 12 people, and half of them, six, are prospects, then know that half of the prospects, or three of the people you met, are in the immediate market for your product or service. If your closing rate is 50% that means you’ll net one or two new clients from the two hours you spent meeting 12 new people, and following through with each of them.

Two new clients in two hours? That’s networking success!

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