In my first post on the topic I discussed how to present your product since BNI meetings don’t allow you to talk about your opportunity.
In my second post I wrote about following up with those prospects to setup one on one appointments. It is very important that you follow up with the people you meet at the BNI meeting. It is very hard to get people to sign up on the spot in a meeting even if it is your time to give your 10 minute presentation you should be using that time to educate the rest of the BNI team. You don’t want to sell them too much. Instead you want to train them on what you do and what makes a good referral for you.
In your one on one meetings is when you can sell your product AND most importantly your opportunity!
Again if you didn’t read my post on follow up after the BNI meeting earlier this week you need to go read it now!
So… You’ve talked about your product. You’ve talked about the need your product satisfies. You’ve got a couple of hot prospects and you did your follow up. Now you have set up your one on one appointment.
In your one on one you want to find out about them! You want to ask them questions. Again you do not want to “vomit” on them. Too many networkers approach the meeting selfishly. They don’t ask about the person they are with. They only want to spend 45 minutes talking about how great their product is or their company.
I don’t know about you but I’ve had some of these meetings. The person I was meeting didn’t want to know anything about my product or business. They weren’t concerned about me. I was just a big fat wallet sitting there. All they saw were dollar signs. They didn’t see me as a person. I drove 20 minutes each way and spent 45 minutes to meet with someone that maybe let me talk for 4 minutes. Needless to say I didn’t get warm fuzzies from the meeting. Even if their product was something I would want to buy…. I’d go find someone else to buy it from! I wouldn’t want to give that selfish person my business!
Don’t be that person. Ask about them. Ask about their business. Find out what makes a good referral for them.
Now when you do talk about your product, ask them some questions to find out what their needs are. I’m usually asking them about “How do you communicate with your customers?” “How do you develop customer loyalty?” “Do you have any customer referral programs?” These are interest generating questions for my product. These are business issues or needs my product can help resolve. Once I find out what their need is I can address that need. There is no need to talk about a customer referral program if they already have one! Right?
So here is what happened after my BNI meeting. Again I followed up with my prospect. I sent him a “Nice to meet you” greeting card. I followed up with a phone call. Then he called me back and we setup the one on one.
I was able to speak to him about my product and how we could help with customer loyalty. That is the need he had expressed interest in. He had sales reps who needed to be trained on how to develop loyal customers.
Then quickly, I showed him my product. I didn’t want to take too much time. This isn’t training. This is a sales pitch. You want to make everything look quick and easy. All too often people go into a sales meeting and try and give too much information. You only want to give them enough information to make a decision to buy (or not.) The rest is just training AFTER the sale.
He was so impressed he not only wanted to sign up but he also mentioned that he was having a sales meeting with his top 10 sales reps. He wanted to know if I’d be interested in coming in and speaking to them (the following Saturday no less!) Of course I said yes.
NOW here is a key point: This is where the opportunity came back up. He’s already buying. He’s already recommending me to others. Now is when I mention the opportunity. I said something along the lines of:
“I’m not sure if this would be a conflict of interest for you or not… but since you’re already giving me all these referrals you might be interested in getting paid for those referrals. Someone is going to get paid for those referrals. Why shouldn’t it be you?”
In my case I was also able to go a little further. Since I’m selling him greeting cards that he is going to use to follow up with prospects and customers I was able to talk specifically about those cards. I let him know “If nothing else those referrals might pay for all the cards you are sending.” Then I told him that “On the back of all the cards they have a web site listed. The distributor’s web site is listed there. That means anyone who receives a card from you or your salesmen will get my web site on the back. If you became the distributor your web site would be on the back of all those cards.”
I’ve just given you some specific examples for Send Out Cards. Of course not all of you are in SOC. However this strategy can be applied to anything.
I met with Joyce,another local networker. She represents a health and wellness company. She did the same thing I did. (Great minds think a like.) She showed me her product first and gave me some samples. Then she told me that if I was interested in the product I could become a distributor for no extra cost. She also emailed me later that day to tell me another person from our business networking group was going to join her. She wanted to give me the opportunity to get started before he did.
Now I wasn’t a good market for Joyce. I wasn’t interested in another opportunity even if it didn’t cost me anything. However I told her I’d be happy to send her referrals.
Here is the method I used to sponsor distributors from BNI and business networking meetings:
- Network with people at the meeting.
- Do NOT vomit on them. Ask questions about them and their business.
- Speak briefly about my product and the need my product fulfills.
- Follow up after the meeting with a “nice to meet you” greeting card.
- Follow up with a phone call.
- Set the one on one appointment after the meeting.
- Meet one on one and continue to show interest in them. (No vomiting!)
- Ask questions about their needs to find out more about why they might be interested in my product.
- Usually I ask questions like “Who do you know that can use a product like this?” to get them interested in the distributor options.
Remember at BNI meetings and many business networking meetings they don’t want you to talk about your opportunity. You need to be product focused at the meetings. When you setup an appointment for a one on one is when you can actually talk about the opportunity with your prospect.
Are you good at transitioning from talking about the product to the opportunity? Do you have some useful tips? If so show share them in the comments below!get free updates via email or RSS here.