The Four-Letter Word That Should Be in Every Networker’s Vocabulary

“Sell” may be a four-letter word, but it’s certainly not a “bad” word . . . far from it.  “Sell” is a word that should be in absolutely every networker’s vocabulary.


I can’t tell you how many times I’ve run across businesspeople over the years who are fantastic networkers, but they think that just because they know how to network, they don’t need to know how to sell. They think that people will like them, and then their products or services will sell themselves. This kind of mentality is unfortunate because people who think this way may be leaving business on the table.

Anybody who’s experienced and successful in referral marketing will tell you that sales skills are needed in every part of the referral marketing process–not just in closing the sale with the prospect.

From the very beginning, you must sell yourself to your potential referral source. A referral is not a guaranteed sale; it’s the opportunity to do business with someone to whom you’ve been recommended. You still have to close the deal. You have to make it clear that you know how to sell, and that you can and will provide the products or services you’re expected to provide. If you can’t make that first “sale,” your potential referral source won’t become your referral provider.

Beyond selling yourself to the referral source, you have to sell yourself to the prospect to get that first appointment. Then, once you’ve made the appointment, you have to persuade the prospect to buy your product or service. This is the part that usually comes to mind when you hear the word “sell.” However, in referral marketing, closing the deal with your prospect is neither the beginning nor the end of the selling process. The sales process is all about keeping an ongoing relationship with the client or customer. This is something that the best referral marketers know and understand.

 What are some of the tactics you use to continually sharpen your sales skills and/or ensure that you continually invest in an ongoing relationship with your clients/customers to actively keep the sales process afloat?  I’d love for you to share your thoughts and ideas in the comment forum below–thanks!

6 thoughts on “The Four-Letter Word That Should Be in Every Networker’s Vocabulary

  1. Ivan, I totally agree. We’ve recently had an explosion in our sales team, which has more than doubled in the last month. One aspect of training our new recruits is how to sell. I really appreciate you bringing this important aspect to light. One thing that all our new hires are discovering, is that having the best designed websites, created in record speeds, error free and at a price that our competition can’t touch is only the beginning of an initial sales opportunity. It provides a door to further educate our clients on the benefits of working with The Melon Ink to deliver not just a website, but a place online where they can showcase their products and services, and where they can enhance their brand. Thanks again Ivan, great post!!

  2. Doing one to ones helps me stay sharp. Sometimes it take two or more one to ones for my conversation partner to clearly understand what I can do for people in their networks. If it takes too many conversations for a person to understand what I have to offer, then my sales conversation is lacking. So, my goal is to have a new contact armed and ready to refer me after one or two one to one meetings.

  3. I recommend Daniel Pink’s book “To Sell Is Human” everything we do pretty much is moving others and influencing others. If you don’t think you are a salesperson you are not in business. This is especially important in educating/selling referral sources.

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