March 2013 | Click links (>>) below to read articles
  • What Do You See? A Brick Wall or an Opportunity? By Bill Lee >>
  • Prospecting for New Business by Michael Nick >>
  • The Perfect Prospecting Question by Jim Domanski >> 
  • How to Be Sure They Believe What You Say by Art Sobczak >> 
  • Seven Insights To Use For Getting Your Next Job by Roy Chitwood, CSP >>
  • Selling Made Simple by Jim Meisenheimer >>
  • Improving Sales through Networking Skills by Michael Leimbach >>



What Do You See? A Brick Wall or an Opportunity?
By Bill Lee

Many times what you see is a matter of your perspective?

On Mission trips I lead to work at the orphanage I support in Mexico, we travel to an extremely remote part of the country. The orphanage is located about three hours east of Mexico City in a region with extremely rich volcanic soil that's excellent for agriculture. About 90% of the crops grown there are vegetables.

Each morning when we leave our hotel to begin the drive to the children's home, we meet dozens of trucks loaded with broccoli, several varieties of lettuce, asparagus, etc.

As we leave the main road the highway abruptly turns to relatively narrow roads that carve their way through vegetable fields with very modest homes dotting the countryside. It's quite common to see wagons pulled by burros and carrying a farmer, his wife and three to five children. The family has almost always packed a lunch since it takes too long to make the roundtrip back to their home and then back to the fields for another half day of hard work.

It never fails when I have new people on the trip who've never seen such a site to make a comment like, "Wouldn't you hate to have to live like that?" Or, "What a great place to see how the ‘other side' lives."

They see poverty. They see children who are not in school. They see a family working in the fields all day without the luxury of watching an afternoon movie on TV or taking a leisurely trip to the local shopping mall.

What I see is a close-knit family that has the opportunity to work together and enjoy each other's company without the interruption of mental candy like soap operas or game shows. I see people who are smiling and happy just to be alive and have cultivated fields to work in.

It's a matter of perspective.

The same is true in sales. When many salespeople make an initial call on a prospect who appears to be in bed with a competitor, they see an insurmountable obstacle while another salesperson might see the current relationship the prospect has with his competitor as only a minor hurdle.

Again, it's a matter of perspective.

We all have been taught that it's unwise to assume. This rule is especially true in sales. Until you have built a relationship with the prospect and earned his trust you never know how happy he really is with his current supplier.

One way I have found to earn a prospect's respect is by identifying sometimes just a single product line that I might begin supplying. Then live up to my commitments, follow up diligently, sell a few add-on products and before the prospect knows it, I have a significant percentage of his business.

Roofing is a good example. I've found that roofing often stands alone and is often purchased from a specialty supplier. Perhaps the underlayment is purchased with the decking, but the roofing itself may be supplied elsewhere.

Windows are another example.

Try this: Among your prospects with whom you do zero business, identify a few products that are not currently supplied by a full line competitor and earn the right to ask for an order. If you're successful, you will have found a great way to gain the prospect's confidence and earn a larger portion of his business.

About The Author:

BILL LEE is a business expert. Starting out in 1965 as a field sales representative and then a sales manager with New York City-based GAF Corporation, he soon became a part owner of one of the fastest growing start-up companies in the US — Builder Marts of America, Inc. (BMA)

Bill and his partners grew BMA from a startup to sales of $640 million in just under 20 years. Bill served as a corporate officer at BMA with general management responsibility for the company’s largest division.

Today, Bill is a sought-after seminar leader and business consultant who works extensively throughout the US and Canada.

He is author of Gross Margin: 26 Factors Affecting Your Bottom Line, now in its third printing.

His most recent book, 30 Ways Managers Shoot Themselves in the Foot was released in October 2005.

Thousands of owners, managers and salespeople read Bill’s award winning ezines and magazine articles on sales and gross margin improvement and best management practices.

Bill is president of Lee Resources, Inc., a Greenville, SC-based consulting, training and publishing organization.

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Prospecting for New Business
by Michael Nick

It is mid first quarter for many and time for a quick check up on how you are doing. Are you going to make your number this quarter? Maybe you need a quick audit of your prospecting processes. 

A major portion of all sales professional's job is to prospect or mine their territory. This article identifies the process, goals, and success in the art of prospecting. I will review lead flow, personal lead generation programs, sources for leads and collateral in up coming newsletters.

Scope of Sales Responsibility

Identify which areas of prospecting your current sales force is performing:

__ Cold calls - Prospect has never heard from your company
__Warm calls -  Marketing touched at least once before you called
__ Hot calls - Marketing or other source provided qualified "hot" lead
__ Personal Blog, Facebook or Twitter (or other Social Media) 
__ Personal newsletters
__ Referral selling - Sales works directly with a partner for referral sales / Formal "referral" program used by your sales department
__ Lead qualification - Telemarketing passes a lead for qualification, or received referral card for follow up
__ Appointment setting - Sets appointments to meet with prospects at their location

Once you have determined the current state, revisit the list and determine what you believe they, "should" be doing. Estimate the amount of time you expect them to spend on the tasks and determine what you would like to see as an outcome. In other words, is the time worth the result. I like to create a pie chart and determine what percentage of time should be spent on which tasks.

Be aware, many sales professionals are not what we would call hunters. The hunter is the sales pro that is able to pick up a phone any time and cold call a prospect. These sales people have a very unique skill. It is not always that easy to make that first call. There is also a point where they appear to be, "slimy" or slick. Lying is not the way to go, and that is what you will find in many of these great cold callers.

That being said, think through how much of the prospecting you want your sales team to do on their own. Many organizations will outsource or hire the lead generation portion of their sales process. Others have marketing run the program. No matter how you do it, be aware you will want a measurement tool in place to determine the success or failure of the program.

In step 2, I recommend you determine the sources for your leads (In-bound). List them out and the percentage of leads you received from what source. For example, if you work for a local car dealership, some of your leads will come from local advertising (50%), some from the manufacturer (10%) when a prospect clicked on the web page. Some leads are simply walk-ins (20%) or referrals from another customer (20%). By knowing where your lead source is coming from you are able to develop a marketing plan that will help you increase and improve your lead flow. In bound leads are gifts, be sure to treat them as such. There is a very high price you will pay for this sort of lead.

Step 3, what feedback and collateral are you providing your leads? This is a critical piece of material and a sales tool. Your brochures (either in-house or on-line) must be informative enough for your prospect to want to talk with a sales professional, yet don't give away the farm. I believe it is important to have literature for both the technical buyer and the end user. I also believe (in the B2B sales) it is worth the time and effort to create a brochure that acts as a value hypothesis. This piece of literature will display the economic impact of purchasing your products and services.

In summary, first determine what you want your sales force to do regarding prospecting, next, determine the sources for inbound leads, and finally be sure you have collateral that will support your needs.

©2013 Michael Nick

About The Author:

Michael Nick is considered to be one of the foremost authorities in the world on the subject of value estimation selling. Michael’s first book, ROI Selling (Dearborn Publishing ©2004) was a business best seller. In 2010, Simon & Schuster picked up the reprint rights giving ROI Selling another five years of availability in the market.

Over the past 13 years Michael has worked with Companies like, HP, Autodesk, Fiserv, Ingersol Rand, Trane, NEC, Checkfree, Bomgar, Rockwell Automation, Oracle, Great Plains,and more.

Visit him at:

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The Perfect Prospecting Question
by Jim Domanski   

Would you like a question that is virtually guaranteed to get your prospect to open up and respond to you?  

Once you've finally reached your prospect and delivered your opening statement, the next most challenging aspect of the call is to ask a question that not only intrigues your prospect but engages him or her. It is here the interest is maintained or lost. Squander the moment and your prospect will wriggle off the call.

So, what's a good question to ask?

The Perfect Question

Here is the single most effective prospecting question you can ask, . . .

" __________, let me ask, are you absolutely, 100% satisfied with .... (fill in key area of concern where you might be able to help).

Here are some examples to illustrate how the question can be adapted and delivered:

An investment adviser might ask,

"Jennifer, let me ask, are you absolutely 100% satisfied with the performance of your portfolio over the last 12 months?"

A personnel recruiter might ask,

"Jackson, let me ask, are you absolutely 100% satisfied with the quality of the recruits you've hired over the last 6-8 months?"

A sales trainer might ask,

"Andrea, let me ask, are you absolutely 100% satisfied with the sales results your teams produced over the past year (or quarter or half year ...whatever)?"

A professional marketing consultant might ask a dentist,

"Dr. Maynard, let me ask, are you absolutely 100% satisfied with the results of your marketing efforts in generating new patients over the past year?"

Why It Works

The question works because it is asking the prospect to evaluate virtually any situation and assess whether it is 'perfect' (100%). It's almost rhetorical in nature because most - but not all- prospects will not admit to perfection. They like to think that there is room for improvement even if their results are decent. So, in other words, it almost always reveals a need or want. If you're prospecting, that's music to your ears. It's a wedge in the door. 

You will discover that the manner of response will vary from prospect to prospect. Some will be candid and frank and give you a definitive, "no, I am not." We like these kinds of prospects because they are revealing a strong need or want.

Others will quip, "You're kidding, right?" or they might be sarcastic and say, "Oh ya, absolutely satisfied. Couldn't be better!" In other words, 'of course, they're not perfect.' At this stage, you can lighten the moment by remarking, "I know ... it's a bit of a loaded question but most people I speak with are looking for improvement."

When you respond in a light mannered fashion it tends to break the ice and move the questioning onto a different level. It is less formal, less stiff. Friendlier. It's a bit different and helps set you apart
What if They Are 100%, Completely Satisfied?

There are those who will respond that they are completely, utterly satisfied with no sarcasm whatsoever. Some are serious. They are NOT experiencing any problems and they ARE 100% satisfied. In this case, there might not be a want or need, and very quickly you have disqualified the prospect. You save time and effort.

On the other hand, you could reply, "I'm glad to hear that. Most HR directors I speak with aren't quite so content. But suppose you could improve on that?" In other words, you are appealing not to the 'pain' motivator (dissatisfaction) but rather the 'gain' motivator (doing EVEN better).

Important Tips

Speaking of 'even better,' there are a few other elements that can make this question even more effective. First, use the prospect's name. The name gets their attention and gets them to closely listen to the next fifteen or so words.

The little trigger phrase, "let me ask," prepares your prospect for the question. It gives them a little time to tune into the fact that a question is forthcoming. This heightens awareness.

Third, ask the question and then go silent. Let them digest the question and respond accordingly. Resist the temptation to elaborate on the question (e.g., by giving an example). Let the silence do the work.

Fourth, gauge the response. Listen carefully to the tone. You'll discover some are amused with the question since they know it is 'loaded.' Respond in the same light tone. Others will be more serious, respond accordingly.


Seriously, this is one of the most powerful and effective questions you can ask. It invariably gets the client to open up. Use it.

About The Author:

Teleconcepts Consulting works with companies and individuals who struggle to use the telephone more effectively to sell and market their products and services. For more information on consulting services and training programs, articles, and other resources visit or call 613-591-1998.

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How to Be Sure They Believe What You Say
by Art Sobczak

My golfing group of three was joined by a single to round out the foursome. Hadn't met the guy before. Seemed nice enough, but quiet, and a lot more serious than my buddies and me.

We had a few bucks wagered amongst our threesome, which of course brings out the competitiveness, regardless of the amount. We ran into an unusual rules question on one of the holes and were bickering about it.

Serious Guy chimed in.

"I had the same thing happen at a state tournament I was in. An official checked it out, and here was the ruling ..."

State tournament ... rules official ... wow, that was good enough for us.

Later after the round I started thinking ... we didn't know this guy. Could have been an ax murderer for all we knew. Yet we placed credibility in what he said.

Just like you want people to believe what you say.

And it's not easy over the phone. Especially if they don't know you.

We all know people who have reputations for saying things that hold water, and others who are just full of it. We filter everything we hear from them through our past experiences with them.

Depending on the source, perhaps these things go through your mind:

"She almost always knows what she's talking about, this must be accurate," or,

"He's lied repeatedly before, why should I believe him now?"

How to Be More Credible

So, how do we create credibility with someone we don't know, or don't have a history with? Here are some ideas.

1."It's not bragging if you've done it." If you've earned your stripes in your business or industry, don't hide that fact under a rock. Trumpet it to add to your credibility! Drop in statements such as,

"In my seven years in this business, I've learned that ...," or,

"I've worked with over 550 retailers, and I always find that..."

2. If you're not on commission, it doesn't hurt if they know that. Hey, I know most of us are paid directly based on what we sell, and there's nothing wrong with that. However, it's possible that someone who doesn't know you might think, "We'll of course she's going to say that, she'll make money when she sells it to me."

However, when a customer realizes a salesperson has absolutely no monetary stake in his purchase, he might tend to relax a bit earlier in the relationship.

I've gotten several new electronic toys at Best Buy recently, and on last week's purchase the rep said, "I''m not on commission, so I'm not getting anything on this, but I strongly recommend you get the protection because..." Of course I got it.

If you're not on commission, you might casually say,

"We've been so busy around here, I wish I was paid on commission."

3. Use precise numbers. If you told me you've worked with "lots of other businesses in my industry," that wouldn't even be close to the credibility wielded by,

"... and I've personally installed this system in 23 sales training firms."

4. Use the praises of others to build your credibility. If you say how good you are, well, they can naturally view that with skepticism. But they can't argue with the words of others, even if you're the one repeating them.

In one of the classic Apple commercials the nerdy PC guy says to Mac guy,

"I have this referree here so you do not say something crazy like Leopard is better than Vista."

Mac-guy responds, "I didn't say that. The Wall Street Journal said that."

You could use something like,

"I was talking to Pat Jones at Indy Industries just this morning, and she told me how she has increased her production by 45 cases per day after just one month on the program."

5. Be a name-dropper. Following a similar philosophy, sprinkle in the names of some instantly-recognizable customers, normally the larger ones, or the prominent ones in your industry.

6. Create visual images with words. One way to do this is to relate to the person's environment, or to relate to images that are familiar to the listener. For example,

"If you take a look at your computer keyboard, it's about that same size."

"It's very lightweight ... about the same as your standard office stapler."

"The unit would easily fit on the corner of a desktop, without hindering the ability to spread your work all over the top of the desk."

"The texture is comparable to regular commercial grade office carpet."

"Take a look at the top of your desk. It's about that tall from the floor."

The more senses you can engage, the better.

Get your listener actively involved, and you enhance your chances with them.

Think of ways you can add credibility to what you say, make a conscious effort to use those ideas, and you'll be more persuasive.

Go and make this your best week ever!

About the Author:
Art Sobczak, President of Business By Phone Inc., specializes in one area only: working with business-to-business salespeople--both inside and outside--designing and delivering content-rich programs that participants begin showing results from the very next time they get on the phone. Audiences love his "down-to-earth,"entertaining style, and low-pressure, easy-to-use, customer oriented ideas and techniques. He works with thousands of sales reps each year helping them get more businesses by phone. Art provides real world, how-to ideas and techniques that help salespeople use the phone more effectively to prospect, sell, and service, without morale-killing "rejection." Using the phone in sales is only difficult for people who use outdated, salesy, manipulative tactics, or for those who aren't quite sure what to do, or aren't confident in their abilities. Art's audiences always comment how he simplifies the telesales process, making it easily adaptable for anyone with the right attitude.


Contact Info
Art Sobczak
Business By Phone Inc.
13254 Stevens St.
Omaha, NE, 68137

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Seven Insights To Use For Getting Your Next Job
by Roy Chitwood, CSP

Regardless of your educational background, degrees, work experience or accomplishments, your future employment depends on one thing: how well you can sell.

I'm not talking about selling a specific product or service. I mean selling yourself and your ideas. Your ability to do this will determine whether or not you get the job.

Selling is simply effective communication, and the first rule in communication is that people prefer talking to listening.

So, success in a job interview is determined by your ability to get the interviewer talking. It's her job to get information from you, but that isn't what will get you the job.

That's because, in a typical job interview, the interviewer asks all the questions and you do all the talking. Sure, she needs to know about your background, education and experience. But as you're rambling on and on saying the same things every other job applicant says, she's wondering how quickly she can terminate the interview so she can get on to more important things.

Using some principles, you can gain control of the conversation, get the interviewer talking and glean the information you need to succeed in the interview and get the job.

The following are seven insights for job interviews:

One: The first few seconds of the interview are critical - the way you look, dress, say "Hello" and shake hands. These give the interviewer clues about your personality, social skills, confidence and experience. To make a positive first impression, use these seven tips:

- Smile (the universal sign of friendship).

- Be sincerely interested in others.

- Talk in terms of others' interests. Remember your interviewer always has time to talk about what she wants to talk about.

- Say their name. The sweetest sound in any language is the sound of a person's name. Overusing someone's name, however, is worse than not using it at all. We've all been in situations where an overzealous salesperson uses the other person's name ad nauseam. Use the interviewer's name, but do it judiciously.

- Compliment. Don't comment on frivolous things like the art on the wall, fish in an aquarium or trophy on the desk. Come prepared to offer two sincere compliments to your interviewer - on his position, achievements, promotions, or about the company's recent success.

- Be a good listener. I've never heard an interviewer say, "This applicant listened too much."

- Make the other person feel important. Do it sincerely.

Two: This is when the interviewer determines if the applicant is qualified. Typically the interviewer asks a question about the applicant's past experience, background, etc., and the applicant rattles on and on, instead of just answering the question. To be successful, you're going to need to gain control of the communication process by asking questions and getting the interviewer talking.

One of the biggest mistakes applicants make is asking closed-ended questions that turn the interview into an interrogation. Avoid questions that can be answered with a "yes" or "no" response. Rudyard Kipling once wrote, "I keep six honest serving men (They taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When, and How and Where and Who." Almost any closed-ended question can be easily transformed into an open-ended question with the use of one of these words.

Three: In this step, you'll determine if the position fits you and your qualifications. Don't jump to conclusions about the information or questions you may get from the interviewer. Several years ago, a friend of mine applied for a senior management position. During the interview, the interviewer asked questions that didn't seem to relate to the position. Later my friend learned from the interviewer that he was more qualified for another senior level position and was subsequently hired to fill it. If the position doesn't fit, or you're not interested in it, however, gracefully terminate the interview.

Four: You are the company you're selling. Begin with something like, "Linda, let me tell you a little about myself."

The following are areas to cover during this step because they are questions the interviewer will likely have on her mind: "I don't know who you are," "I don't know your background," "I don't know your education," "I don't know what you stand for," "I don't know your past employers," "I don't know your track record," "I don't know your reputation" and "Now, why should I hire you?"

Five: In a selling situation, this is where you would talk about your product or service. However, on a job interview, you are the product/service. Therefore, relate how your education, experience, background, etc., will benefit the company with a series of feature-benefit-reaction sequences. "My experience working with multiple channel distribution in the Northwest (feature) will allow me to immediately impact sales in this important territory (benefit). How would that help you achieve your sales goals for the first quarter?" (reaction)

Now you'll utilize the information you obtained through listening and questioning in the first four steps. Come prepared with a standard list of three or four feature-benefit-reaction sequences (keeping your reaction questions open-ended), then customize them based on the information you gathered. Conclude this step by asking, "What questions do you have?" At this point, you can inquire about compensation and estimated start date, "When would you like the new person to start?"

Six: Now use this closing statement: "If I can arrange my schedule to start on the date you would like, can you think of any reason why you wouldn't hire me?" The wording of this statement should be exactly as I've stated - concise and to the point. You're not asking for a determination that you're qualified or that the interviewer is interested in hiring you - it's simply a mutual agreement to move forward. If you get an objection such as, "I have several more interviews scheduled," or "I want to give it more thought," acknowledge the objection with "I see," "I understand," or "I can appreciate that."

Seven: Regardless of whether you get the job, cement the relationship by expressing your appreciation and thanking the interviewer for her time and interest. Follow up the interview with a handwritten, mailed thank you card. It shows you are a professional, and it's something tangible the interviewer can keep for future reference.



Roy Chitwood is an author, trainer and consultant in sales and sales management and is president of Max Sacks International, Seattle.

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Selling Made Simple
by Jim Meisenheimer

(Note about author: Today is the last day to grab a copy of Jim's new eBook, 57 Ways to Take Control of Your Time and Your Life. Grab your copy here:

I almost gave up the game of golf about a month ago.

The game had become too frustrating for me to enjoy playing.

So after doing some research I discovered a Golf School called GMS - Golf Made Simple and their website is

They were rated as the 3rd best golf school in the U.S.

They offered a 3-day school at eleven locations and had four right here in Florida.

The maximum class size was four and I really like that.

So B, my wife, and I went to Palm Coast Florida.

GMS was just that. They weren't interested in a transformation process.

And you know, when I stop and think about it, there are a lot of similarities between golf and the selling profession.

Here are just a few things the GMS program emphasized and see how they relate to sales.

1. They talked about "Slow and steady improvement."

This is one of the biggest mistakes salespeople make. They neglect and often ignore the concept of self-improvement.

2. GMS also talked about Small accomplishments add up to better scores.

In sales, the same concept applies. Imagine trying to achieve a 1% improvement with these selling skills. Prospecting, probing, handling objections, closing etc. - you get the picture.

3. GMS emphasized "Play to your strengths, but practice your weaknesses."

How many professional salespeople are focused on improving their weaknesses?

4. GMS says when you're on the golf course, "Always have a plan."

How many salespeople have a written sales call objective for every sales call they make?

Here's something to think about.

Self-improvement. It's your responsibility.

Impossible - nothing is impossible unless you agree that it is.

Measure what's important.

Passion - love what you do.

Learning - never stop.

Enthusiasm - get excited about your company, your products, and your customers.

Well, that's the end of the article. But, if you'd like more control over your time and your life, please keep reading.

My new eBook, especially for entrepreneurs and professional salespeople, 57 Ways to Take Control of Your Time and Your Life, with my best time management tips and techniques is FREE on only from March 21-25!

Grab your copy here:

You do NOT need a Kindle to read Kindle eBooks!

You can still read them all for free on any computer or tablet using Amazon's free software available

Remember - This special Free Promotion ends March 25th.

Jim is a Sales Strategist and is the creator of No-Brainer Selling Skills. He shows salespeople and entrepreneurs how to increase sales, earn more money, have more fun, and how to do it all in less time. His focus is on practical ideas that get immediate results. He offers Advanced Sales Management Workshops, Sales Coaching, Consulting, In-house Sales Training Programs, and a wide variety of Learning Tools i.e. books, special reports, sales manuals, and CDs.Jim Meisenheimer is a member of The National Speakers Association, where he earned the C.S.P. designation, Certified Speaking Professional. He has authored five books including, "The 12 Best Questions To Ask Customers," and the recently published “57 Ways To Take Control Of Your Time And Your Life”.


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Improving Sales through Networking Skills
By Michael Leimbach

Growing revenue is critical to all organizations. Yet finding new markets, new buying points, or new needs in existing clients is increasingly difficult. That is why organizations desperately need all employees, not just salespeople, to be able to effectively uncover new opportunities.

But it is not that easy.

  • A US engineering firm, thinking that a financial incentive would generate new business, began offering its consulting engineers a bonus for uncovering new business from the clients they service. However, after a year, of their 35 engineers, only three had found new business opportunities.
  • Research at the Stanford Shyness Institute suggests that almost 60 percent of young adults entering the business world have difficulty introducing themselves and engaging in conversations with potential prospects.
  • A study in Harvard Business Review shows that strategic networking skills will help organizations uncover and capitalize on new business opportunities.

The reality is that many organizations are leaving revenue on the table, not from a lack of incentives or desire, but because of a lack of networking skills. Or, as Francesco Polese said, “The relationship with a customer has a major impact on the total value received by that customer, because value is increasingly created and delivered over time as the relationship develops.”

Unfortunately, networking skills do not come naturally to every salesperson. Technology is partly to blame, suggests Ruth Sherman in Fast Company: “Dependence on remote forms of communication has left many younger workers bereft of interpersonal skills.”

Anne Baber and Lynne Waymon, leading experts in networking skills, have boiled the research down to eight critical skills needed for effective social networking.

Eight Critical Networking Skills:

  • Understand and leverage personal style: Networking is not just for the extrovert! Introverts can be just as effective at developing interpersonal networks; they just do it in a different way.
  • Strategically target your activities: Not all networking events or organizations are equal; you need to determine which events will give you the best return on your investment.
  • Systematically plan networking: Meaningful connections don’t just happen—planning activities, evaluating experiences, and anticipating next moves is what leads to great connections.
  • Develop relationships over time: You don’t meet someone today and become their trusted advisor tomorrow. You need to learn how to build relationships and whom to build them with.
  • Engage others effectively: Sure, laughing and socializing with others is fun, but it is not how you create effective business networks. You need to learn how to engage meaningfully, remember people’s names, and make sure they remember yours.
  • Showcase your expertise: You can learn to talk about your accomplishments and skills without coming across as a braggart, and it is essential to do so if you are going to have an effective network.
  • Assess opportunities: Easy to join, hard to leave—it is essential that you evaluate your networking experiences relative to your changing goals and decide when to get more involved and when to exit gracefully.
  • Deliver value: At its core, networking is an exchange of value, whether it is time, information, or your talents. You need to be able to recognize what you have to give, as well as what you want to get.

These eight skills reflect a comprehensive body of knowledge that gives salespeople the skills they need to immediately begin to build organizational and personal success. Organizations can achieve better performance, have more effective employees, and bring products to market faster if they devote time and effort to building effective networking skills.

# # #
About the Author:

Michael Leimbach, Ph.D., is Vice President of Global Research and Design for Wilson Learning Worldwide. With over 25 years in the field, Michael provides leadership for researching and designing Wilson Learning’s diagnostic, learning, and performance improvement capabilities. Dr. Leimbach has managed major research studies in sales, leadership, and organizational effectiveness. He has developed Wilson Learning’s Impact Evaluation capability and return on investment models. Michael has served as a research consultant for a wide variety of global client organizations, is on the editorial board for the ADHR professional journal, and serves in a leadership role for the ISO technical committee TC232: Standards for Learning Service Providers. Michael has co-authored four books, has published numerous professional articles, and is a frequent speaker at national and global conferences.

To learn more about the concepts shared within this article and how Wilson Learning can assist you in addressing these issues, contact Wilson Learning at 1.800.328.7937 or visit

The influence of networking culture and social relationships on value creation. F. Polese. In Firms’ Management: Processes, Networks and Value, 2009.

Uncovering the unconnected employee. A. Baber and L. Waymon. Training and Development, 2008 (May).

Shyness, social anxiety, and social anxiety disorder. L. Henderson and P. Zimbardo. (2010) In S. G. Hofmann & P. M. DiBartolo (Eds.), Social Anxiety: Clinical, Developmental, and Social Perspectives (2nd Ed.). Academic Press.


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