May 1

Never Stop Networking

Happy 14th Anniversary to me! Whew, hard to believe it's been 14 years since I launched Converse Digital on two weeks' notice, with no clients lined up, no money saved in the bank, and a not-so-inexpensive life to help support along with my incredible wife, who had just started her entrepreneurial adventure a couple of years earlier as a real estate agent. 

Yep, I did it completely wrong. 

And yet... I'm still alive and kicking, doing some of the most fulfilling work of my career, helping people and organizations create Perfect Pitches, showing them how to Sell Greatly vs. relying on traditional Bait and Badger techniques and, of course, Painlessly Prospect for new business by, simply turning conversations into customers. 

So today, as I've tried to do every year on the anniversary of founding Converse Digital, I reflected on what I've learned this year that may help you in your career. 

Never Stop Networking 

While my Painless Prospecting approach to business development is rooted in the concept of becoming known for knowledge and spreading that knowledge around the internet where prospects can discover it, follow it back to you, and then reach out to initiate a conversation, you can eventually convert to a client, this year I recommitted myself to in-person networking. 

Why? 

Two reasons. First, while social media and Zoom purport to keep us connected, in reality, they don't. At least not in the way breaking bread or sharing a drink with someone does. That said, sharing a virtual drink over Zoom is a close second  šŸ˜Š and humans need that connection to stay energized, or maybe it's just me. 

Second, the world has changed a lot in the last five years. 14 years ago, if you were producing and sharing content, you were an anomaly. Today, the sheer volume of content being created and shared is overwhelming and, unfortunately, too often underwhelming, reducing the effectiveness of content selling overall. 

So, in 2024, I recommitted myself to personal networking, and I'm happy to report it's been my most effective selling tool by a longshot. Best of all, it's produced many great opportunities to spread my ideas around key Propinquity Points via invitations to guest on relevant podcasts, deliver webinars, keynote on stages and, pick up new social selling coaching clients. 

Don't Just Learnā€”Launch 

On one of my recent networking Zoom calls with Jeff Rohrs, we had a great discussion about the difference between people who have ideas and those who launch ideas into the world. If you've never considered the question, go make a cup of coffee or pour yourself a drink and sit for a bit and think about the people you know who fit each description. It's an eye-opening exercise. But I digress... šŸ¤£

I've spent the last five years deep-diving into the science of persuasion via PowerPoint (or Keynote for you Mac fans) and applying that science to helping clients develop more effective sales and business development presentations, or what I call Perfect Pitches

But I never really launched it as a stand-alone workshop product until this past year. 

Boy, was that dumb. Pretty much every company in the world that forces employees to pitch their ideas via PowerPoint desperately needs access to this knowledge, as evidenced by the interest they showed in my new Perfect Pitch webinar, which I delivered yesterday. 

You can have all the information in the world, but if you don't translate that into something that can make you money or advance your career, what's the actual value of it? 

Take What The World Gives You 

I've always loved teaching people how to do things and watching them apply that new knowledge to advance their careers. Who knows, maybe I should have been a college professor instead of a social selling and business development consultant

Over the last 14 years, I've often been paid to consult or teach via workshops, webinars, keynotes, and private coaching. I willingly accepted the first three, but I always shunned the social selling coaching opportunities, mistakenly believing I couldn't build a profitable business on that service. 

Boy, was I wrong. 

Not only will people pay for 30 years of selling experience, but they'll also buy additional products and services from you. When you roll all of their purchases up into a single P&L "client" line or look at them from a lifetime value point of view, they become profitable clients and fantastic referral resources. 

How much money have I left on the table by ignoring the social selling coaching opportunities the world was offering me? I have no idea, but I do know that changing my point of view and launching my social selling and business development coaching service this year was one of the smartest decisions I've made in the last 14 years. I guess that means you can teach an old šŸ¶ new tricks! 

To all of my fellow entrepreneurs who took the ultimate riskā€”starting your own businessā€”God's speed to you. I hope the above thoughts spark an idea or two in your mind. And to everyone else who graces me with their attention to my pontifications, THANK YOU for being here. Let me know if you have any burning questions you think I might be able to answer... I'm always looking for new content ideas. 

Till next year... 

Before you go, if you're a first-time reader and liked this piece, why not consider subscribing so we can stay in touch? Of course, you can break up at any time if you don't like what we send šŸ˜‰.  Till next time. 


This post was originally published on Painless Prospecting, the weekly sales and marketing blog created by the fine folks at Converse Digital. If you want to learn how to create, engage in, and convert conversations into new clients and customers, give them a call


Tom Martin

Tom is a no-nonsense, straight-talking 30-year veteran of the advertising, marketing & sales business who favors stiff drinks, good debates, and helping organizations inspire their people to grow.


He marries his two passions, persuasion & technology, to teach individuals and companies how to leverage digital sales & marketing channels to achieve and sustain sales growth, enhance brand perception, and painlessly prospect for new customers with proven social selling techniques based on his Sell Greatly, relationship first approach to helping prospects make buying decisions.

 
His book, The Invisible Sale, presents his vision of a digitally centric, content-powered sales and marketing world where prospective buyers seek perfect information at the detriment of corporate sales and marketing teams. His live performances bring both the book and his passion to your conference or meeting and will ensure your attendees leave prepared to win more customers in this self-educating buyer world.

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Tags

networking, Sales, sales prospecting, social selling, social selling agency


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