E9: Sales vs. Networking: How to Choose the Right Path (And an apology from a recovering know-it-all)

Episode 9 Featured Image Networking vs Sales

Should you spend more time on sales or networking for your local business?

This episode is about sales versus networking, but it could also be called, Why listening to 25-year-olds about business strategy is a bad idea.

Today’s episode is a recording from 2019 of an answer to one of the most common questions I am asked about business strategy:

“How much time should I spend on sales vs. networking?”

To answer that question, I first have to confess that I taught people wrong on this subject for a long time. I’ll share that story, the lesson I learned from doing it wrong, and what the right answer is the topic of today’s episode.

Unfortunately, I was a pretty big know-it-all at 25. I liked to tell people, mostly in training for a company I worked with that was making its money selling business networking as a lifestyle, that sales were for Neanderthals. 

“There are stages in your life where focusing mostly on sales makes more sense than focusing on networking, and vice versa. It isn’t only a business decision.”

~Renia Carsillo

Disclaimer: This episode is specifically meant for community-based businesses where the owner is the primary sales and marketing person. The options, ratios, and choices discussed here will be different for you if that isn’t your situation.

Episode 9 Recap

  • [00:31] The confusion — Yup, I was that asshole.

  • [3:18] My number one rule in business strategy. 

  • [6:30] Understanding your sales cycle when making a choice about sales versus marketing time.

  • [8:35] Why I think going to networking events when your business is brand new might be a bad idea.

  • [9:22] Tools that we need to put in place BEFORE we head out networking.

  • [12:19] Why sales are easier than referrals and why we tend to not realize that.

  • [13:25] How your life stage impacts your choice about pursuing sales versus networking activities.

  • [16:00] Why parenthood and other life stages might impact which choice is right for you.

  • [18:13] My ideal ratios for sales time and networking time, based on the stage you are in.

  • [19:30] Why going to networking events is often a way we hide from the big business asks.

  • [21:30] Why networking-only is magical thinking for many local businesses.

Resources Mentioned in Episode 9

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Small Stage, Big Impact is hosted by Renia Carsillo (that’s me!). I am hardcore passionate and committed to bringing the systems and strategies that give big brands an unfair advantage to local businesses. For that reason, I created the Local Rock Star Intensive, where I help local business owners use their small stage to have a BIG impact. Thank you for being here and reading this far!

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