The first holiday gift basket just arrived (Thanks, Bobby!) and I can’t wait to dive in to the goodies. There are other things (many) to look forward to in the next month and half. One of them is holiday parties sponsored by your clients and organizations in your community.
Most bankers I know buy in to the importance of attending networking events. Maybe as a result, sales managers don’t place as much emphasis on it as they should in their coaching.
I think they’re making a mistake. They need to help bankers learn how to work a room better, to become better networkers.
Here are five specific things sales managers can do:
- Get people to go to the right events. What might be right for Jill may not be the best use of Jack’s time.
- Make sure that people have a plan for each networking event. Maybe it’s a list of customers to talk to. Perhaps the goal is to connect with a particular prospect. Having clear objectives matters.
- Follow-up immediately afterward to see what your people got out of the event. Be curious about whom they talked to.
- Go to some events with them and observe how they operate. You’ll probably have some more things to talk about when you debrief the session.
- Ask people periodically whether the events they’re attending regularly are providing an appropriate ROI.
You don’t have to be a great networker yourself. But if you believe being active and visible at client functions and community and trade association events is important, you have to walk the talk. Enjoy the holiday season!
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