Excellent Networking Skills
11 years ago Chris Lipper founded ON THE BUS™ a Sales Training, Coaching, and Consulting Business.
When attending a networking event, do you have a goal of what you want to accomplish at the end of the day? Learn about networking skills and how to apply them.
Chris starts by explaining that with On the Bus, they break down each of the goals whether it be a one-year, three-year, five-year, ten-year, or even a twenty-year goal into Behavioral Goals. That’s how they start the year and then revisit it in the month of June. This is one of the long list of things they offer.
To go into detail, the member’s first goal in attending a networking event would usually be to have at least two 1-to-1 meetings with other attendees. From that, the second goal is to ask for referrals. This way forward, it’s networking, it’s not, not working.
“It's networking. It's not, not working.”
Inside their workbook, for people who don’t know how to work on the second goal, they have a class on “Asking for a Referral”. Referrals can be a lot of things, they can be a currency, they can be a “thank you”, or they can be an IOU. The important thing is to ask for them.
“Hey, do you know anyone who could benefit from what we do?”
Another chapter inside the workbook is for people who struggle with giving an introduction. They have classes on 10-second, 30-second, 2-minute, or 4-minute introductions. They use what they call a Cheeseburger Approach. Simply think that the toppings you put on your burger will not make your burger the same every time, it will always depend on your audience.
This means that you might have a different set of bullet points that you would bring out depending on who is in front of you. You need to be able to do that in a conversational way where you are not reading it, where you don't sound robotic, and where it just flows.
Now, when you achieve your first and second goals and you now have a referral what is the next step? What do you do during the meeting?
They have a three-part class on “Having a Sales System versus Not”. This is where you will get an idea of what that meeting will look like. They show people how to spend the time wisely and not spend it talking too much about the rangers and the giants for example. Inside the sales training, more than having classes on networking, they also facilitate networking events themselves.
Networking Events and Trade Shows
Every Thursday at 9:00 AM they have a V.A.N.G. (Virtual Area Networking Group) to meet and create relationships with other business owners attended by 25 people in general. It is a strong group of business owners who share tips and have great discussions about improving businesses.
Chris recalled how their Trade Shows started as he was meeting with a client who mentioned something about not liking trade shows. Chris took it as a challenge and right on the spot they decided to organize one.
They offered two classes before the show and a total of 350 people attended on the day of the event. They had 25 booths and it was a success. A couple of years later, they did it again until it was twice a year and they ended up having seven shows live.
They had two shows scheduled last year and they had to cancel the one for June because of the pandemic. However, they were able to figure out how to use the online platform. And in December last year, they had their first virtual trade show.
On their last trade show, people stayed for 103 minutes on average for a 3-hour show and ended up with as much as 40 breakout rooms.
***Watch the video at 06:51 mark to see the video clip shared by Chris during the actual event.
What Professionals Say About Chris?
“I just want to say I've been to a few of the events live and online. I would say the virtual trade show is really cool. You kind of pop in and out wherever you want to go if you see someone you know and they can introduce you to somebody. It's definitely pretty unique and i think it's on the right track. I actually got bumped out of the room and I talked to the tech guys right there and they helped right away. I would definitely recommend everybody to just at least stop by for a little bit.” - Randy Morgan, Senior Relationship Banker, M&T Bank
“Like randy, I have been on live and virtual, and virtual really works. But besides that, I'm going to throw a little something out to Chris because I shared an office with him so I got to ride the bus and just learn about what he does. I'm going to tell everyone especially as a referral that I can tell when people work with Chris because their 30-second or 45-second intro is perfect and it's very different from reading a card or being nervous. You look right in that camera and you're doing your ask and I would never have known what to do. I wasn't a networker and as Chris said, I didn't know why I did it.
And then I learned how to work smarter not harder. And I absolutely learned about networking and not working. I learned, and learning is the best way to grow. That's all I can say about when you take a ride on the bus because I had to grow, I got my business part great, I can present like nobody's business so thank you, Chris.” - Lisa Orazietti of Lisa with a Heart
“I just want to thank you as well. As mentioned earlier I met Chris in a V.A.N.G. but actually Jeannie Assante was the one who introduced me to VANG and Chris and everything that's going on. I've met Jeannie before she knew Chris and I’ve seen her work with Chris. With that, her pitch and everything have gotten a thousand times better and a thousand times more on point.
I’m just so glad Chris is part of the team and I highly recommend going to his Thursday morning networking event. It's just wonderful and he's just a great resource for everyone.” - Dennis Harabin of Relax Tax
When Is The Next Event?
The next virtual trade show is on June 2nd and the one after that is on September 8th. What are you waiting for? Contact Chris now and Get On The Bus!
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