Expert Advice On Business Networking And Tips On Developing Your Networking Skills

Bill Caskey – Sales Trainer and Author

In the last 20 years, Bill Caskey has written books and papers, produced CD’s and created multi-media content for business-to-business sales teams. His book, Same Game New Rules, has become a standard for training high income sales staffs, shipping to over 22 countries. Bill can be reached through www.caskeyone.com

Josh Hinds: How do you define Business Networking and why do you feel it’s important?

Bill Caskey: To me, business networking is not much different than personal networking.

I say that because I think all too often our business relationships today come through personal means (the softball diamond at a kids game, a neighborhood cookout, friends for dinner etc).

The mistakes we make are a) we fail to look at our own personal networks for business results and b) we are awkward when it comes to broaching business subjects with our friends.

Josh Hinds: Can you share one idea that someone could put into practice that would help them to improve their business networking skills?

Bill Caskey: Yes. Taking my supposition from Question 1, I think we all should have a way to make that bridge between personal and business a comfortable one. Very few people have that bridge… therefore the awkwardness.

Here’s a thought: Why don’t you write a short 300-word article on the mistakes most people make when they buy your product/industry. Have it professionally designed (yes, you must actually pay for this. Don’t use an MS Word template). Then, after you meet someone at an event, email them a PDF of it.

Maybe the accompanying email text is “Hey, John. Good meting you at Smith’s the other night. Thought you might be interested in how we help companies save money on xxxxxx. May not apply to you… just an FYI. Regards, Jeremy.”

That way, you let the article talk about what you do… rather than you talking about it (that sometimes turns into a ‘pitch.’)

Josh Hinds: Based on your experiences, which places and activities have you found best for meeting new people and expanding your professional network?

Bill Caskey: Again, given my example above, anywhere. The mistake people make is going to an event HOPING TO meet prospects. With my idea above, it doesn’t matter if the person who calls you was at the event or not. They are only as far away as an email FORWARD. But if you have no “content” to send, then, you’ll wear yourself out trying to find that perfect networking group.

– Happy Networking, Josh Hinds
(Connect with me on Facebook or Twitter)
Learn more about having me speak to your group at JoshHinds.com.

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