I can appreciate Jonathan Farrington’s thoughts in his article “Why I take an Interest in Anybody and Everybody – Do You?”
because I don’t and I should. I can appreciate the notion of giving and sharing versus bargaining and keeping score because as a salesperson I think we often fall into this, especially the younger version of me whom was seduced with the ideas of getting to the top any which way possible.
I have to remember this behavior really is contrary to human nature and that human happiness stems from helping, interacting, bringing value, as well as providing help and support.
As discussed in his blog, successful networking is about those most important tenants:
Receiving – Giving
It’s great to receive, close deals and make money, but it’s always great to donate, give, and provide for those that are less fortunate or in need. I do believe in Karma, or rather, a harmonious flow that exists between giving and receiving. It’s important we give thanks every day for what we receive and have and then give back when we can.
Contributing – Accepting Support
This is all about keeping an open mind. If you are self aware then you can certainly accept support as well as criticism. Now not all criticism is good, however, some is very critical and if you can move past the personality ego, and in many cases with salespeople a very strong personal ego, you may learn, evolve, and adapt along the way.
Offering – Requesting
This is very important. Remember to offer guidance, help, support, opinions and request feedback as well.
Self Promotion – Promotion of Others
I definitely feel like you should always be promoting your best and most valuable asset – yourself. And while you’re at it, certainly promote those within your network and group that are valuable and help you succeed!
Being Truthful – Being Persistent
When a customer or anyone wants to know more or they ask a question, especially a sales consultant in IT that might not know the answer to every question, always be truthful. If you don’t know the answer and you need to consult an engineer than do so and tell the customer you don’t have the answer, but you will do research and get the answer for them. The customer will appreciate the truth more than a sales angle.
Persistence is the key to most things in sales. That means follow up with the customer, follow up with the project, and everything else associated with keeping them happy and the business successful. If a door closes or continues to close – never give up – another one will open that will be even bigger and better than before.