No network means no business; that’s the brutal reality. The majority of new openings are not advertised or announced; the higher the profile of the business, the bigger the prize, the less likely it is that the opportunity will be made common knowledge. No, the ripest plums are plucked by Sales professionals with an inside line - canny individuals who have devoted their time to building up a network.
Networking is developing a broad list of contacts; the people you meet at various social and business functions can be an invaluable source of knowledge, giving you sales leads, providing information on a particular company or industry and in turn introducing you to others, further expanding your network.
Successful networking is all about putting in the energy required to make it work and knowing how to direct that energy. You need to by super-organised, keeping a record of contacts and getting in touch with them regularly, either on the phone, via email or at the more sophisticated end, through a PR campaign. Part of being organised is setting goals for yourself, calling 5 decision makers a week, for example.
You’ll need to develop a firm grasp of lead search basics. First, make some decisions on the types of sales leads you want - which companies and industries interest you. Then, review the contacts from your initial network and expand this to a second and third tier, continuing until you get referrals back to your first tier.
Follow up with your network. The key is keeping your network informed of your situation and thanking them for their efforts. Never take your network for granted.