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Friday, February 12, 2010

Networking: Always Be Closing!

"A-B-C. A-always, B-be, C-closing. Always be closing! Always be closing!!"

The words resonate.

They resonate everytime I go to those networking things. You know the ones everyone says you have to hit because you have to network in a time where we type our social interaction instead of speak it.

Those words belong to Alec Baldwin's super-duper salesman Blake character in Glengarry Glen Ross. He's inspiring. Intense. Undeterring. He lets you know that coffee is for closers, only.


Those are the ABC's of business. If you want to compete in this global world you have to ask for that order. Then demand it. I hate these networking things. A bunch of cliques where they circle the wagons effectively locking out the walk-up. One guy always camped at the iced shrimp. And then there's the know-it-all who can't be bothered by your trival conversation. Yet, you have to get out of the office to meet those new people. You gotta close!

Now I'm not a command-the-room-kind-of-guy. I'm definitely the get-to-know-you-kind-of-guy. I like to sit down with you and have a drink and bond with you in a beneath-the-surface conversation. Next thing you know we are doing this regularly, doing deals and having fun along the way. Relationships are so much better than networking, aren't they?

But since you have to be out there you might as well do it right. These events are full of companies vying for users’ attention so you need to separate yourself from the competition. You can do this by creating a compelling headline for youself with a opening billboard that explains who you are and what you do without it being like trying to figure out E=MC2 or why Jim Caldwell looks like a coaching Avatar.

After you get the someone's attention, keep it. This is where creating persuasive content comes into play. THEIRS, not yours. Listen to what they want and who they are. This is like a date and always that no matter how much they laughed at your jokes in the Monday morning recap meeting your date is more concern with their feelings. Paramount to everything is that they want to know you like THEM!

If you have someone's attention, now you have to get your new best friend to take action. Map a plan right there. Set a meeting. Show up on time. Be intelligent. Make it simple. It should be a simple step to get someone to want to do business with you, no more. You have the answers they need. Show them. Find a way to get to the cigars.

So if you haven't been following, remember coffee is for closers only and cigars are for the fun once you close.

Remember luck isn't for closers and don't forget to follow me on Twitter ( and Facebook (