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How to Leverage Your Personal Network to Generate Sales

We’ve all been there.  It’s your first day on the job and the sales manager is asking you who you know that might need a car. You are eager to hit the ground running with a few sales, and your friends and family sound like a great place to start. However we’ve all heard stories about relationships that have been strained by sudden and aggressive sales tactics.

You definitely want to take advantage of the relationships you already have. After all, everyone needs a car, right? Even if you are not new to the business, your personal network is always a valuable resource for leads. So, what are some effective ways to leverage your personal network and generate more sales?

Here are 4 points to consider:

The Relationship Comes First.

First and foremost, it is important to put things in perspective. Financial guru Suze Orman has a famous quote that goes: “People first, then money, then things.” I think this applies here. No matter how much pressure you feel to make a sale, don’t abuse a relationship to make it happen. The relationship comes first.

Prove that you are equally as interested and concerned for the other person as you are for yourself, and let the rest follow.

Earn Top-of-Mind Status

If you want to make the most of your personal network, you must be the one that your friends and family think of whenever an automotive question or need arises. Achieving this takes time, but it starts with reaching out.

Are you the kind of person who makes regular contact with friends and family? Do you post frequently on social media sites? Do you send birthday wishes regularly? If so, keep it up and look for opportunities to share things about your profession to reinforce that you are “their” expert on all things automotive.

If you are more of a recluse, then it might be a little awkward if you start contacting all of your old friends out of the blue to sell them a car, or if you start posting on social media with reckless abandon.

If you haven’t talked to a particular person in a while, reach out to say “hi” and to reconnect first. You can mention your profession, but don’t call with the objective to sell. Ask about their life, and really listen. You might even recognize a natural sales opportunity because you took the time to listen.

Make a commitment to stay in touch with more people. It doesn’t have to be much. Send birthday wishes, share more about your life (including your profession) on social media, comment on others’ social media posts, or simply send a friendly text from time-to-time. All of this will go a long way to keeping you top-of-mind in your network.

Love What You Do

Be genuine. Be real. People want to support their friends and family, but more than that, they want to deal with a winner. This is especially true on big ticket purchases like automobiles. You need to show that you are genuinely good at your job and that you truly love what you do.

Take the time to learn your craft.

You don’t become an expert overnight. It takes time. If you show that you have a desire to learn and are putting in the effort to improve, this enthusiasm will be evident and your network will want to deal with you on their next vehicle purchase.

Ask for Referrals

This should be second nature to any good sales person, but don’t forget to ask your network for referrals. Your approach should be very similar to points 2 and 3 in this article. The more natural contact you make with your network and the greater level of trust they have in your abilities, the more referrals you will get.

At the end of the day, personal networking is all about building relationships. Treat people right, share your expertise and show them you care. It will create sales opportunities for you.

Ken Strong
Ken Strong
Retail automotive veteran and writer for

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