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Network Your Way to Sales Success
by Joe Bonura, CSP


String Your Own Net

There was a PBS documentary about a couple who lived in a remote area of Alaska where they made a living off the fish they caught in their net. In order to survive, they had to make the net, string it out every morning, take it in every afternoon, and retrieve the fish from the net.

Warm Calls Only

Their efforts reminded me of networking in the sales world. The bigger the net, the longer you keep it out, the more fish you take in will determine your sales success ratio.
Networking is the best way I know to never make a cold call again. Unlike the couple in Alaska, you do not have to go out in the cold water to make your catch. Networking is all about warm calling.

The Biggest Gun In Your Arsenal

If you have not used networking, realize that it can be one of the most powerful tools in your sales arsenal. It involves more than swapping business cards at business meetings. Effective networking is an ongoing process. Set an appointment with yourself every day to massage and expand your network.
A good definition for networking is:
A group of individuals who interact through various forms of contact for mutually beneficial results.

Your Initiative Makes The Difference

The key words here are MUTALLY BENEFICIAL RESULTS. Bob Berg, who is a networking guru, says that when you meet a business person, you should ask them what you need to know about their business so that you can recommend them to your business associates. They are so surprised by his request that they ask him how they can recommend him to others.

Tools Of The Trade

Here are some simple but powerful ways that you can begin stringing your sales net:
  1. Phone a current customer every day.
  2. Call a business associate who is not a customer every day.
  3. Call a current supplier just to say thank you.
  4. Think of someone who has helped you in the past, and renew that contact.
  5. I called the president of International Correspondence Schools twenty-five years after I graduated to thank him for the education that enabled me to succeed in the advertising business. He asked me to appear in a commercial for ICS with Sally Struthers. This led to an engagement to teach a graduating class of ICS students the sales skills they needed to get a job.
  6. Call family and friends to find out what they are doing and bring them up to date on your activities.
  7. Write a “Just-Because” note to someone every day.
  8. My wife is great at writing notes; she makes her own cards and sends them to friends and acquaintances. Her cards are so professional that many of her friends save them and will not throw them away.
  9. When someone requests your business card, tell them that you don’t have any with you. Get their card and follow-up in a few days with a letter expressing how much you enjoyed meeting them. It is a great way to make your card stand out.
  10. Look for opportunities to speak for local clubs and organizations. When you close your presentation, ask them to leave their cards with you, and you will send them an article or a reading list in the mail.
  11. Go to your high school or college reunions to renew old acquaintances.
  12. Pass out business cards to check-out personnel at hotels, servers in restaurants, taxi drivers, and anyone who supplies a service to you. Ask them to recommend you to anyone who needs your services.
  13. A friend of mine always gives one of his cards to flight attendants and pilots whenever he flies.
  14. Take the time to sit down and make a list of everyone you know for potential business contacts. Set a thirty-minute time goal and do not stop writing until the thirty minutes are up.
  15. Review that stack of business cards that you have been saving for the past twenty years and decide who is worth putting on a networking list.


You Can’t Catch Fish If Your Net Is Not In The Water

If you are going to succeed at networking, you must have the net in the water at all times. Do not be afraid to get wet. Start fishing today.

© 1997 Joe Bonura & Associates, Inc.

To see Joe and hear one of his favorite selling tips, follow this link to a video he created to share with folks who are interested in making more sales, or finding a job:



Joe Bonura would be pleased for you to reprint the article text free of charge (non-exclusively), but asks that you include his name and contact information:

Joe Bonura
Joe Bonura & Associates, Inc.
Website: www.bonura.com
407 Landis Lakes Court
Louisville, KY  40245

(502) 553-1746 phone

E-mail: joe@bonura.com

About Joe Bonura

His background is unique. Joe owned and operated a highly successful advertising agency for 18 years. During that time, he found his advertising campaigns were more effective when he educated his clients in the areas of sales and service. He conducted training seminars for his clients as added value. Word spread that Joe was a quality speaker and more and more people asked him to speak. The demand became so high that he sold the agency to three of his associates to start his own speaking and consulting company, Joe Bonura & Associates, Inc.

Joe is past President of the Kentucky Speakers Association and a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), a prestigious designation earned by only 8% of the 3,600 member National Speakers Association. Joe presently serves on the board of directors of NSA.

He is author of the audio learning systems "Three-Dimensional Selling®" and "Turning Customer Satisfaction Into Customer Excitement®." He is author of the book Throw the Rabbit—The Ultimate Approach to Three-Dimensional Selling.




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