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About This Episode
If remote work means you’ve never even met your own manager in person, how are you supposed to network with total strangers?
Much less maintain and grow that connection?
In a recent episode of Sales Engagement, I had a chance to speak with Victoria Salazar, BDR Team Lead at Reachdesk, about the art of networking.
With 4 years of B2B sales experience in New York, Victoria has been team lead for about 6 months, where she is a master at nurturing contacts.
Networking can be such an intimidating term, especially for anyone new to the industry.
Let’s dive into Victoria’s 9 tips!
Getting started in networking
1. Find groups you identify with
“I’m a Latina female in sales,” Victoria said. “Finding the groups that I identify with, that was the first step.
Victoria brought her whole crew with her to networking events.
And she didn’t confine herself only to groups she felt comfortable with, either. “You really have to not stay in your own bubble,” she said.
Groups she recommended were Women in Sales Everywhere (WISE), #GirlsClub, RevGenius, and America Needs You.
2. Figure out what to do with your hands
Acknowledge that networking is intimidating — and plan to have something to fidget with.
(Hands are just awkward.)
“I carried a crystal around with me,” Victoria said. It acted as a good luck charm and gave her something to hold.
Leveraging networking groups
3. Think outside the box
Groups don’t have to be sales-oriented.
Victoria belongs to a mentoring program for first-generation college students.
Groups based around hobbies are also places to be successful. “Follow your hobbies. Sometimes you can find the right people there,” she said.
Oh, and former colleagues are great connections to maintain, too.
4. Say yes to Linkedin
True story, Victoria connected with me on LinkedIn over our mutual participation in #GirlsClub.
Don’t be afraid to build your brand on LinkedIn.
You might wonder what you have to add to the LinkedIn community…
“You can add a lot,” Victoria said. Your opinion matters.
Nurturing existing relationships
Especially if you’re a BDR who is trying to become an account executive, don’t ignore your relationships. Even if someone else closed, you can still get to know the people who were involved in the sale.
Email, message, call, text.
“When you transition into an account executive, you might be selling to that person in the future,” Victoria said.
“You never know where they’ll end up 1, 2, 3 years from now or where you’ll end up,” she added. “You might need them, they might need you.”
6. Bond over hobbies
Learn something about the person you want to build a relationship with.
“You like outdoors? Well, let me send you some hiking boots,” Victoria said.
There are a lot of creative ways to connect with someone, but, honestly, the classics are classic for a reason.
- Community groups
Find something you both are interested in — or learn to be interested in their passion.
7. Network with coworkers
People in your company are already valuable relationships because you automatically have work in common.
“The most important thing in terms of internal networking is making sure that you reach out to them,” Victoria said.
She cautioned about using the right tone, however. “It’s not about how can you help me but also how can I help you?” she said.
Most people are up for grabbing a 15 or 30 minute virtual coffee chat, even if you’ve never met in person.
Cross-departmental relationships are potentially even more mutually valuable than getting to know people in your department.
8. Start a group
There are so many opportunities to start a project at work that will create a shared experience.
- Diversity and inclusion
- Women in sales
- Women in tech
- Mentoring or recruiting
You could invite an organization in to speak or launch a group of your own.
“You have something that you’re working towards, and then you have a deliverable that you’re really proud of and can stand behind,” Victoria said.
Yes, this takes courage.
It also builds a huge amount of rapport.
Nurturing prospects who aren’t buying
9. Ask & engage
It’s okay to ask when the right time is. “When do you recommend that I reach out to you?” Victoria said.
No matter their answer, you should carry on with the relationship by understanding their pains and continuing to engage.
“Engage with their LinkedIn, comment on their posts, follow what they’re doing,” she added.
You can get to know people on a more personal level now that they are working from home and sharing more of their lives.
“If you guys follow me, you’ll see that I have a lot of plants,” Victoria joked.
Connect with Victoria on LinkedIn or as #mothernurture.
For more engaging sales conversations, subscribe to The Sales Engagement Podcast on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.
About The Podcast
The Sales Engagement podcast is the #1 podcast focused on engaging your customers and prospects in the modern sales era. This show features real-life stories and best practices from revenue leaders doing the job day in and day out, in a casual, radio-like talk show.
Each episode features modern tactics, strategies, hacks, and tips to get the most out of your sales engagement strategy and help you navigate the next generation of sales. You’ll find energetic talks that will provide you with real actionable value around building meaningful connections and creating a better selling experience through authentic conversations that you can measure.
The Sales Engagement podcast is here to help B2B sales leaders, customer success leaders, and marketing leaders innovate and usher in the next era of modern sales by building pipeline, up-selling customers, and ultimately generating more revenue with more efficiency.
Hosted by Joe Vignolo, Senior Content Managing Editor at Outreach, and Mark Kosoglow, Vice President of Sales at Outreach.