by Alison Stoodley

    I Love Networking! Said No One. Ever.

    Here’s your networking challenge – meet 10 new people this week that you have a business conversation with. It doesn’t have to be in a business context, like meeting someone at a friend’s birthday party Saturday night, but the potential for a business conversation must be present to count. Now, step two, turn at least 3 of those 10 into leads. Step 3, warm them up and step 4, close at least one. Easy right?

    Make sure you have a full tank of gas, and a list of all the business mixers in town and line up a babysitter because a lot of these will be after business hours. Also, make sure the family has extra supper in the fridge in case you miss a few meals. But don’t worry, it’s only for a week, right? But, what if you could generate 3 hot leads and one sale every week from the comfort of your computer desk? Would that make a difference to your business?

    What if you could do it in one-tenth of the time it takes described above?

    Have you heard of social selling? Like traditional selling, it starts with networking, either in person or online, but then you warm the leads up by building relationships on your social networks. From the comfort of your office. During business hours. Home for dinner. Win.

    Before you roll your eyes and dart to the next article, because you think social media is too expensive or takes too long or is too hard or… whatever, think about this — social selling is not wasting time on Facebook, it’s not taking pictures of your dinner for your Instagram minions, or describing your every action to your Twitter followers. It is, however, targeting highly qualified business leads on the world’s largest data-driven machine, Facebook. It is developing a relationship with the current and next wave of discretionary spenders on Instagram and it’s giving your company a voice, transparency and authenticity on Twitter. Not to mention what you can do on LinkedIn, the platform built for business.

    Connect Online

    Connect with me online.

    Companies who embrace social selling do better than those that don’t. Google it. Social selling allows unprecedented access to decision-makers and on their terms, and by the way, they like that.

    So, back to networking. On LinkedIn, you have some connections, right?
    Get in touch and I can have you up and running in a week!

    Start there. Your connections can be filtered and tagged for the organization and your interaction with each of them documented all within the LinkedIn platform. The list you generate will be an excellent starting point for you to reach out and provide some value to these potential customers. Notice I didn’t say ‘reach out and sell them something’?

    If you attended a networking event where someone did nothing but sell they would find themselves alone in a room wondering where all the crickets are hiding. LinkedIn and most social platforms are no different.

    Network online

    The age of attention currency

    In this age of attention as currency, wasting time sales pitching on social networks is the equivalent of cold calling, except that today people are much less tolerant of irrelevant information arriving uninvited into their eye space. In fact, some even get irate and take to social media channels to express their frustration with companies that don’t respect their attention.

    Warming up leads on social platforms can be as easy as commenting on the game last night if you know they are a fan or passing along a blog post you read that offers insights about their industry. Remember, add value. It’s the new black.

    Of course, closing will likely require that you set up a face-to-face but once all the heavy lifting has been done online it will be pure pleasure to meet with your highly qualified lead and close that deal. Rock on.


    Alison Stoodley
    Find me: ONLINE through my website or connect with me on LinkedIn.

    Yes, I would appreciate a strategic consult on new business development solutions for my company.

    Fill out this request and I will be in touch.  Let’s have a powerful conversation about LinkedIn and how it can support your business goals.

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