You've just met a prospect. You asked great questions... learned some of her challenges. Now before you slip her your business card... here's how the networking elite suggest you end the conversation.
(And it's NOT with trying to sell your product or service. You're selling a next appointment.)
After you acknowledge her work challenges, you say, "Maybe I can help you with that.. and maybe I can't."
Whoa. Maybe you CAN'T??? What have you just said?
(You were being honest. You don't know enough about her challenges, her scenario, her budget, her timeline... much of ANYTHING, really, so you build trust by saying "Maybe you CAN'T help her." It goes a long way on building future credibility.)
You then say, "What I'd like to do is set up a time when we can sit down and discuss them in more detail. If I can help you, I'll tell you. If not, I'll tell you that, too. Or refer you to someone else who can. Or perhaps send you some referrals, once I understand your business better."
So what have you just said? And why does it work?
You've asked for time to help solve her problems... not to sell her.
You - again - showed honesty by admitting you may not be able to help. But then again, you may. But if you can't - hey - you may know someone who CAN. And best of all - you might be able to generate some business leads for HER. (The real beauty of networking.) She can't lose!
So now that the wall is down, trust is built, and you offer a chance to improve her sales... now ask, "What's a good day and time to get together?"
Now, your business card comes out. And hopefully hers does to. Or be prepared to enter her name, email and phone number into your phone or jot it down. NOW you've made a valuable connection. Your Elevator Speech developed a true lead, or a connection to someone who might be.
But you don't have the sale yet. You have some follow up to do. Secure the appointment. Do your research. Prepare your questions. And make that visit or phone call your next great learning experience toward the sale. (After all... that was your goal all along. Wasn't it?)
The Networking Ninja
Mary Ellen Sokalski
Diva of Direct Marketing.