6:15am seems to have come even earlier this morning than it has any other time in your life. The drive into your meeting drags and traffic has found a new way to torment even the brightest parts of your soul. Parking spots are harder to find than a young person at a Tom Jones concert. You walk up the stairs to the smell of coffee and desperation.
Armed with a smile that you had to force upon your face, you step up to collect your name badge. It used to be a saying that if part of your daily preparation for work includes, “step 8: clip on name badge on the left side of jacket,” then you knew you had failed.
Optimists would look at this situation and see it is an opportunity to make sure that they meet more people. Since sales is a numbers game, more people might just bring you a step closer to that ‘YES’ that could make make your year, or even career.
Pessimists would say networking is for people who didn’t have friends at school and now they get the chance to ruin peoples days with boring stories, for the chance of getting a sale. Moreover, they would say that networking and building relationships is costly and boring.
“Buck up, sissy pants. You paid for this and took time out of your morning to be here. Let’s get out there and get some cards, shake some hands, and kiss some babies.” Armed with a new batch of business cards and a product that makes you excited, you set out into the room to bring back some fresh meat. Well, at least hopefully the chance to sell someone your great new product.
Elevator pitches, 60 second presentations, business card croupiers, slips of paper, poor tasting coffee, over priced meals and expensive parking are the list of things that make most of us cringe and make us wish we were back sitting behind our desk.
There are so many professionals who just want to do their jobs and not have to go out and win business. Most don’t like to meet new people and talk about the weather. All of us are required to sell every day though, whether it is a product to a new client, or an idea to a team at work.
An even harder proposition is trying to sell the idea of bed time or homework to a child. It is all a struggle that the majority of us create coping mechanisms for. However, there are some of us sick individuals who think that this is the fun part of the working day.
One of the hardest things to sell is yourself. We are so very proud as a species, that we are told not to toot our own horns or sing our own praises. Daniel Pink’s book To Sell is Human is a great representation of why we have to see ourselves constantly.
This is one of the hardest things that we all do and that is why I have focused on the idea of ‘Hunting In Packs,’ which will be expanded upon shortly.
First of all, I would like to discuss why selling has become something that we all must do, using some interesting quotes by Daniel Pink.
This first quote is about success in any endeavor especially in building a sales team or ‘True Gravity’ group:
“One of the best predictors of ultimate success in either sales or non-sales selling isn’t natural talent or even industry expertise, but how you explain your failures and rejections.”
The reason you get people that like you and how you carry yourself, is that it’s easier to copy body and speech patterns without seeming false:
“Human beings are natural mimickers. The more you’re conscious of the other side’s posture, mannerisms, and word choices – and the more you subtly reflect those back – the more accurate you’ll be at taking their perspective.”
Selling yourself and your product comes into its own when you go out on the networking scene and try to build your universe. Upon first entering a room, you cannot distinguish the ‘Asteroids’ from the ‘Planets’, but the one thing that you do know is that you are at the centre of the universe.
Your goal has to be assessing the room and deciding who else is engaging and acting like a person who would attract you in a business scenario. When good hunters come into a room, you barely notice them because of their stealth and focus. They blend into their surroundings. It becomes a game of hunter and prey for them. Just like they are hunting for food on the savannah. It tends to go something like this:
The wind blows softly across the plain and the grass swayed from side to side in the meandering breeze. Slowly, the small beast dips its head from its defensive position to take another mouthful of grass. Behind the animal, just out of sight, a large shape makes waves through the grass, moving towards the unsuspecting prey. In unison, three others approach from different angles.
The team of four gather pace towards the quarry. Picking up pace and salivating, the hunting pack forms into a circle and… present their business cards. “Hi, I am Bart, I sell insurance…”
Whether it is in the boardroom, or in a morning breakfast meeting, working as a team makes networking easier. If you are still in the process of forming your universe, then you need to use this method to help you gather people for your database, Linkedin, Facebook or Google sphere.
‘Hunting In Packs’ is the best way to have fun, ensure success and create a strategy that pulls in the right prospects that will help your ‘True Gravity’ team reach its full potential.
Here is how Hunting in Packs works in practice:
- Choose a function that you want to go to as a group of 3 or 4.
- Get the list of attendees.
- Find 3 or 4 targets/prey/contacts you want to have conversations with.
- Discuss the targets, including what you want the outcome to be and the reasons why.
- Set up a strategy to achieve the group’s goals for that person.
- Elect a lead member to start the conversation.
- The goal of this person is to:
- Introduce themselves by name and not say what they do.
- Ask the person about themself and their business.
- Introduce the other members of the ‘Hunting in Packs’ team in turn, complete with a quirky testimonial or title. “This is Bart, he helps keep people wealthy.” “This is Roland he protects businesses from losing value by preventing legal mistakes.” You should make up your own and make them fun and memorable.
- Attend the function as a team of 4 and have your preset goals.
- Meet the organizer and thank them for putting on the event. Ask them if they could introduce you to one of your targets.
- Let the hunt begin. Begin Step 6. Repeat.
- Have fun with it and keep track of how well you do.
- Recap after the event and reflect on successes and discuss improvements for next time.