Social networking tools like Face Book, Linked In and Twitter are not just social networking tools but should be used as ways to create relationships and create real sales. This is a whole new world that is exploding with sales opportunities and not just a way to find old college buddies. Social networking is for more than just making connections but for making sales!
Go into this with the idea that you are going to use social networking to increase your contacts, get them thinking and talking about you and then covert those contacts into contracts! Unfortunately or fortunately depending on who you are, most people are just using this tool to entertain and waste time.
Getting started is as simple as entering your email address into any of these sites, what you do with after that is what counts. Focus on what image you want to create and how to get people to see your site and the creative ideas of how to stay connected with those people. Getting to the right person at the right time with the right presentation is what creates the sale. And that is what these sites can and should do for you. With the economy much tighter it is critical that salespeople increase the number of opportunities they personally create and not wait for something to happen. Social networking tools are transforming the salesperson’s sales efforts.
First, understand this is not a place to waste time and meander but to connect with those that can propel your business. When I use social networking I am looking to connect with those that can either promote my business or directly see and buy my products. If my old college mates can help me great then go after them but that should not be your primary purpose when using these tools.
Keys to making social networking successful for you:
- Before creating a site clarify your purpose.
- Build your site with your purpose in mind.
- Always use a photo as people want to see who you are.
- Provide a list of items in your profile that substantiate you as a professional.
- Make sure all communication is professional and supports your purpose.
- When you communicate make sure that the viewer finds the information you are providing to be useful.
- Understand this site is like a living entity and it will needs daily attention in order to get you results.
- You don’t need to know anything about technology you need to know about sales.
At 51 years old, I am a bit handicapped with using technology and most of my office are amateurs in this new world of technology. We actually experimented with the selling principles from my book Sell to Survive to see if those same principles would work with social networking. Using these principles, we created over 700 strong business connections on LinkedIn in just two weeks. Our Facebook effort was a lot easier for us and we hit 5000 connections in a couple of months. More importantly our sales grew almost 5 times in the same period. New announcements are very important in this ‘new’ world so we used new product launches to create tremendous interest on all our social networking initiatives.
This proves that you don’t need internet skills to get connected, you need sales skills. Social networking is a real sales’ activity and a substantial way to keep your clients or prospective clients thinking about you, talking about you and ultimately selling your products and services.