The first step in sales or marketing is to connect. Everything else follows from there…

I have posted this before, but if you haven’t read this book go get it today – Everyone Communicates, Few Connect: What the Most Effective People Do Differently

I attended a conference last week, admittedly outside of my professional comfort zone, but I was able to fall back on basic and fundamental communication skills, my ability to find some common ground and connect…and it allowed me to engage with new people, in a new industry, and get in a dialogue. My main objective was to learn, so my goal was to get into as many conversations as possible and then listen. Mission accomplished and it only happened, because I was able to connect.

I had one particular experience that is worth sharing…which underlines my point. Having grown tired of networking, I saw a group sitting by the TV so off I went and I parked myself on a chair and just opened my ears. Turns out there was a hearty conversation about the recent Nike Ad and I was eagerly waiting for an opening to join the debate (no politics here…so I won’t share my view). Finally…there was an opening and I was in! Long story short, the conversation moved to business (the reason why we were all there…) and I could see I was well on my way towards a possible business opportunity.

We exchanged business cards and goodbyes with promises to connect when we were all back on our home turf. Before I could even think about my next move, I turned around and was pleasantly surprised as I was being introduced (literally escorted) by one of the people I just met. Here I was – face to face with the decision maker for the company. Voila!

We had a quick chat about our business and how we could help, exchanged cards, and agreed to schedule a call to discuss our offering. Success!

Only if you connect, will you have a chance to sell.


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