Nothing beats good old fashioned face-to-face networking

As a Business Development Manager, I am faced with the task of reaching out to potential new clients and establishing new business relationships on a daily basis. This means having a strategy in place is absolutely essential. There are a lot of resources out there, especially on LinkedIn, that say cold calling is dead, and to a certain extent, I agree.

Cold calling alone does not take one to places. Neither does solely relying on social media. Over the course of my career, I have found a three-pronged approach including calling, social media and most importantly attending networking events is the recipe for success. I urge you to get out to as many events as you can and make connections, shake hands and talk to people face-to-face. I have had numerous occasions where one half day event brings in more business than a week’s worth of calling. It is so much more personal, so these results do not surprise me.
Let’s be honest, anyone with a C in their title gets a lot of sales calls, everyday, from various companies trying to spruik all sorts of things. I am one of those sales people making these calls. However, no matter how smart the solution and how great the pitch, chances are the person is simply not in the right frame of mind for the call to be successful and declines straight away. It’s all good and part of the sales profession but this is exactly where networking events come into play.

During an event people are typically in a very open mindset and are looking forward to meeting new people. Sounds trivial but it really makes a difference when it comes to pitching a solution and/or promoting your own brand. Engaging event delegates in a conversation in this scenario is fun and typically rewarded with a high success rate in follow-on meetings and calls. I encourage as many people as possible to actually get out of the office and meet people. Have a look on LinkedIn for the next event that is relevant to your existing clients and aligns with the solutions your company represents. Sign up for as many as your schedule allows and be amazed by the results. I guarantee you will have some fantastic conversations with people you might never reach over the phone.

Here at Kiandra we have an Office 365 event coming up very soon. I cannot wait to meet as many people as possible at the seminar and genuinely look forward to finding out how we can assist them on their IT journey moving forward. I encourage you to be part of it. We have some amazing speakers, delicious coffee and tasty breakfast being served. If you’d like to come, and at the very least make one new connection, let me know –!

This post first appeared on LinkedIn, written by Marcel Veldboer, Business Development Manager, Kiandra IT