Networking skills for sales professionals

A 1-day workshop

Many people have a misconception about networking events, and lose out on new business opportunities as a result. They either don’t appreciate the real benefits and techniques of networking and don’t attend events, or they attempt to ‘sell on the first date’, causing resentment.

You can either attempt to make a sale for a quick buck (which is particularly likely to backfire at a networking event), or you can try to open a long-term relationship, creating new opportunities and a high lifetime value customer (which is how it’s meant to be done). Networking, when done properly, is an excellent tool for referrals. But you have to appreciate that it’s done on the basis of giving rather than receiving and this doesn’t always come naturally to sales professionals.

The old saying that it’s about getting to ‘know, like and trust’ is still true. This workshop is about having your prospects and customers getting to know, like and trust you, and building that lifetime value as a result.

Learning objectives

By the end of this programme, participants will be able to:

  • Understand what networking is – networking etiquette
  • Know how and where to network
  • Clarify their objectives – why network
  • Use the 4 basic questions to start a conversation
  • Build rapport quickly and easily
  • Answer the question ‘What do you do?’ effectively in a few seconds
  • Deliver a 60-second pitch
  • Break into a group
  • Prepare for a network meeting
  • Identify opportunities
  • Use tools to assist in networking

Who should attend?

This programme is relevant to all sales people and, indeed, other people within the organisation whose work involves them in attending events.


A practical interactive one-day session for a maximum of 12 participants.

Whilst following the published outline, for maximum benefit the programme will be adapted to the needs of the participants and the client on the day.

Special features

The programme can follow the description, or may be tailored to the client’s specific requirements.

Follow-up bespoke training sessions, one-to-one coaching or mentoring are all available as required.

Expert trainer

Steve is a highly experienced and popular trainer, speaker and coach. He spent many years as a customer service engineer in the data and telecoms sector, before transitioning to the commercial side of the IBM UK business as an account manager, and eventually a trainer.

Steve saw for himself at IBM that the customer experience is the competitive battlefield for sales and business growth and that being an ambassador for the company, having good communication skills, developing strong relationships and having an ethos of providing excellent service are the building blocks for long-term business sustainability.

While at IBM Steve:

  • Delivered customer care training to more than 200 sales staff, engineers, managers, professionals and help-desk staff. As a result of this training customer complaints decreased significantly, the engineer morale survey results were the highest on record, and sales were the highest for the decade.
  • Delivered presentation skills and sales relationship skills training, amongst other topics, to over 100 professionals.
  • Facilitated leadership programmes.

Steve then set up his own consultancy practice in 2009 as an independent business trainer and mentor, since when he has provided business training, master-classes and mentoring on sales, business strategy, networking, customer service, presentation skills, communication and influencing, leadership and personal effectiveness to more than 600 clients across a wide range of private and public sectors including IT, sales, accountancy, education, HMRC, healthcare, and business consultancy.

He has reached the highest level of public speaking achievement with Toastmasters International as a Distinguished Toastmaster. Steve is a full member of the Professional Speaking Association and also coaches executives and professionals in speaking skills.

His qualifications include:

  • Certified NLP trainer and Master Practitioner
  • Clinical hypnotherapist
  • Certified coach
  • Profiles International assessment tool certified on Profile XT, PSA, 360 Degree, PPI (a DISC Plus style assessment)
  • Distinguished Toastmaster, Toastmasters International (a leading non-profit organisation for improving communication and leadership skills in individuals)
  • Full member of The Professional Speaking Association

1 Introduction

  • Aims and objectives

2 What is networking?

  • Why network – objectives and goal setting
  • Networking etiquette
  • Preparation – online and offline tools to use
  • Identify networking opportunities – where to network
  • Know what you have to offer
  • ‘Know, like and trust’ – the process

3 What do you do?

  • Answer in 5-10 seconds
  • Create and deliver a 60-second pitch
  • Who is your target market?

4 Starting a conversation

  • Breaking into a group
  • Building rapport
  • The 4 questions to start a conversation
  • Moving on

5 Communicate and engage

  • LISTEN – 4 types of listening skill
  • Ask powerful questions
  • Influence – don’t sell
  • What can you do to help others – give to get

6 Power of referrals

  • Who can give you referrals?
  • When to give or ask for referrals
  • Have a referral system
  • Showing appreciation

7 Social media and other online tools

  • Using LinkedIn and other social media
  • Online directories

8 Next steps

  • Following up
  • Arranging one-to-one meetings
  • Developing relationships

Any questions? Please just give us a call on 01582 463463 – we’re here to help!