Blogs – “Ex Works Column”2018-12-30T11:50:41+00:00
Advanced International Networks Ltd (AIN)

Blogs – “Ex Works Column”

At networking events keep your focus on relationships, not sales!

 

Its all about relationships

One thing I would like for our partner members to work on is that I don’t think they should try to close sales right there at our meetings. The reason I say this is very simple. The whole purpose for going to these meetings is getting to know one another.It is very difficult to get to know one another when you were trying to sell to one another all the time. It is very hard to build rapport with another person when he won’t let his barriers down and whenever people are being sold to they always feel like they should be defensive.

Have you ever had a neighbor or a friend or a colleague who sold Amway? If so, then you know exactly the feeling that I am trying to explain here. Nobody likes to be sold to all the time. And when you have somebody who every time they try to speak with you is trying to sell you something you want to spend at least amount of time as possible speaking with that person. Do you want that person to be you??? Well, if when you meet somebody new all you can talk about is trying to sell your company to them, trying to sell your services to them and why they should immediately become your client, then you are that guy who sells Amway! There’s nothing different between you and the annoying Amway salesman.

Now I have seen over and over and over and over in networking meetings where someone does have a service that you have or someone did come looking for such a service that you might provide and they ask right then and there for a quotation. That my friend, is serendipity. And serendipity is a very good thing. When serendipity happens at a meeting then business happens as it well should. However we’re not talking about serendipity here when I’m talking about constantly selling to people. That puts undue pressure on both you and the person you just met. It’s pressure on you to make a sale and it’s pressure on the other person to get away for you.

The more I think about this I believe that people do this because they have the expectation that networking is all about sales. Well, in a way it is. But it’s also about marketing. But most importantly it’s about meeting new people, new connections and building on old relationships. Establishing connections and keeping up relationships are very hard to do when you’re pressuring the other person to buy from you. You can clear all of this up by changing your mindset. Consider that a networking meeting is not necessarily about sales. If you focus on the relationship part I promise you’ll make more sales in the long run.

Gary Dale Cearley Managing Director of Advanced International Networks Ltd. (AIN)Gary Dale Cearley is the Managing Director of Advanced International Networks Ltd. (AIN), one of the fastest growing and most dynamic business-to-business networking organizations in the world. AIN’s networks include AerOceaNetwork (AON), XLProjects Network (XLP), and AiO Logistics Network. Gary Dale has been in many facets of international freight forwarding for more than two decades from operations to sales to the owner of the first 100% foreign owned freight forwarding company licensed in Vietnam. The companies that he has been involved with have been both generalists and specialists. He has also worked from large European and Asian multinationals (Danzas and Hankyu Express) as well has small start up forwarders. For the past ten years Gary Dale has owned and operated AIN. He has lived in several major cities in four different countries and he is multilingual. Currently Gary Dale runs the AIN operation from Bangkok, Thailand, but travels the world over.

Daily small steps will amount to giant leaps

Don't break the chain

Logistics company owners come from different backgrounds. Though I have no numbers to prove it I would dare venture that the majority came from sales followed by those who came via sales and operations and finally those from the operations side of things.Many people who come from sales backgrounds already know the advantages of networking but those with operations backgrounds seem a bit less keen to do so. However, I don’t want to paint anyone with a color that doesn’t match their complexion. There are sales people out there, loads of them, who represent their companies for a living and actually know very little about effective networking. And conversely some operations people are extremely well networked when dealing with vendors, customs, etc., in order to get their daily basic jobs done. Networking is particularly difficult for impatient people. I have spoken about these folks time and again. They are the ones who think network meetings are only about meeting the new agents. They are also the ones who at the end of their first year in a networking group complain that they have gotten nothing from it. They think networking is like hunting when it really is more like farming. This aspect can be very painful for them. Who plants an acorn and has forty years to watch it grow?
The people I am describing resist networking activities. It is not seen as important or at least as priority to these folks. But it is exactly these people who wake up one day to find their well is dry and they don’t have any alternative watering holes because they haven’t been digging any. I can though attempt to make networking a little bit easier for these types. I have a tad bit of advice.

Do one small task per day, then forget it.

Yep. One small task daily will help them to get into the habit of networking activity. And there is a funny psychological trigger that increases the importance of that which you do on a regular basis. Though I won’t tell you which activity this should be as I leave it up to you, (you know what is needed more than me!), I will say that this will be easier if you do the same activity daily. But if you would rather not do the same task daily then at least Sunday night or Monday morning, when you map out your week, put an easy, simple, networking activity to do every day. This could be calling or Skyping with a prospect or old client. It could be updating business cards to your contacts or CRM program. It could be updating your partners with new rates or local regulations. It could even be planning what to do for the next day. The important thing is to do something and to get it imprinted in your routing and in your mind. Once you have done this you can either leave the networking where it is or you can gradually expand the activity. By doing something every day you not only make it a habit but you will make gradual progress. It will be progress earned.
I have tried to use this tactic in my own life over the years. I also read that Jerry Seinfeld had been using a similar tactic which he called ‘Don’t Break the Chain’. Jerry Seinfeld writes jokes on a daily basis. It doesn’t matter how much he writes or how well. The important thing is that he is writing daily. With this he has built up loads of material to use and modify in order to keep his persona fresh. If you are someone who has trouble with networking in general you should really keep this in mind. Don’t break the chain. Do something, anything, in networking activity every single day. Then if you want to move on to something else then do so. But don’t break the chain. Dig your well before you need the water.

Gary Dale Cearley Managing Director of Advanced International Networks Ltd. (AIN)Gary Dale Cearley is the Managing Director of Advanced International Networks Ltd. (AIN), one of the fastest growing and most dynamic business-to-business networking organizations in the world. AIN’s networks include AerOceaNetwork (AON), XLProjects Network (XLP), and AiO Logistics Network. Gary Dale has been in many facets of international freight forwarding for more than two decades from operations to sales to the owner of the first 100% foreign owned freight forwarding company licensed in Vietnam. The companies that he has been involved with have been both generalists and specialists. He has also worked from large European and Asian multinationals (Danzas and Hankyu Express) as well has small start up forwarders. For the past ten years Gary Dale has owned and operated AIN. He has lived in several major cities in four different countries and he is multilingual. Currently Gary Dale runs the AIN operation from Bangkok, Thailand, but travels the world over.

Working with people outside the network

Networking

There is no such thing as a perfect network. However, for independent freight companies these days networks are the best way to have agencies all over the world. We all know that since networks are not 100% perfect in and of themselves (believe me, we’re doing our very best!) sometimes people are forced to go outside the network to get certain business done. And sometimes business opportunities come to them from companies who are also not inside the network. This is normal and common in the world that we live in. Still it’s much better to be inside a network than outside of a network. Nowhere else will you have a group of people who are looking to you to give you business and to serve you best on a systematic basis. Nowhere else will you get the support from agents around the world like you will from within the network.

Whenever companies do business with other companies outside the network if there is any way possible I always encourage these companies to bring in their non-network partners. Or to at least introduce the idea of joining the network to that partner or introduce the network management to them directly. This helps to eliminate any issues that you might come into contact with from member partners inside the network. What do I mean by that? Well simple. If you are seen to have a substantial amount of business outside the network, to be actively pursuing that business but not supporting network businesses you will be seen by other network members as a leech on the group. This is important because part of being in a network means that you necessarily do trade with other network members on a regular basis. Not just trade, but actively trade. You promote your own services within the group but it is a quid pro quo. You also need to be using the services of other members of the group. Or else it doesn’t work for anyone. Well, let me qualify that a little further. If a significant number of network members work outside the network then it doesn’t really work for everyone.

I always tell companies when they come into the group that they don’t have to give up their old agents. And for the network to work best what you really need to do is give at least 50% of all your new business to network partners. This would be a great boon for any group if all members just follow this simple rule of thumb, or, if they do the best to invite their highest quality agents from the past, i.e., their pre-network partners to become part of the group. (And why wouldn’t you if you think that the network is called a and the agents equality, wouldn’t that be the best match possible for you and everyone involved?) This way everything works in a sealed circle. We do not push exclusivity as I’ve discussed on several previous posts. If you would like to know more about that just look them up or you can ask me. We are however, constantly looking for new and quality talent in the field of agents around the world.

Back to the 50% of new business…

If everyone in the group gave 50 percent of their new business, and by this I mean the business that they quoted for since they joined the group, to other network members, this would mean a great deal of growth for everyone who joins. It would mean a great deal of benefit. It is the real world business version of pay it forward. If you and all your network partners commit to that then everyone will benefit in the growth of the group as a whole. And if network members also introduced for the network new potential strong, solid, professional partners from outside, that is a solid recipe for the growth of everyone. This, if it was in the financial industry, would be the equivalent of compounded interest. And who doesn’t benefit from compounded interest? I hope this makes sense to you because I think it’s elementary. And it is necessary to have a well running, high-quality network. Isn’t that what we all want? And doesn’t that benefit all of this? Including yourself professionally and your company financially?

Gary Dale Cearley Managing Director of Advanced International Networks Ltd. (AIN)Gary Dale Cearley is the Managing Director of Advanced International Networks Ltd. (AIN), one of the fastest growing and most dynamic business-to-business networking organizations in the world. AIN’s networks include AerOceaNetwork (AON), XLProjects Network (XLP), and AiO Logistics Network. Gary Dale has been in many facets of international freight forwarding for more than two decades from operations to sales to the owner of the first 100% foreign owned freight forwarding company licensed in Vietnam. The companies that he has been involved with have been both generalists and specialists. He has also worked from large European and Asian multinationals (Danzas and Hankyu Express) as well has small start up forwarders. For the past ten years Gary Dale has owned and operated AIN. He has lived in several major cities in four different countries and he is multilingual. Currently Gary Dale runs the AIN operation from Bangkok, Thailand, but travels the world over.

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