I think back to the 70’s – yes the 70’s when I started in the business world. I was fresh out of school and got my first job in sales in a hotel. No one gave me any training or really explained what ‘prospecting’ was, they basically told me to get out on the streets and find new business. I had to look through old ‘files’ from past sales people whom some had been fired for underperforming, yet I had to use their notes to decide who to call on.
Those were the days my friend and yes they did end. Fast forward today to all the resources available to sales professionals and it seems like a ‘walk in the park’ compared to guessing who to call and how to get an appointment.
Today there is no such thing as a ‘cold’ call as every prospect is ‘warm,’ if you use your resources. LinkedIn is one of those resources I don’t believe people are using to the fullest advantage, yet it is by far the easiest and most professional way to ‘connect’ with a potential client.
I recognize that it is still tough to get past voicemail, make friends with PA’s and eventually get an appointment, but certainly with technology today you can connect with more people faster.
Most of your clients are living in a ‘social business world,’ and much of the business decisions are made emotionally before a client ever talks to a sales professional.
You can keep the conversation going all day long without ever leaving your desk! If you want to be successful today you must learn how to control your sales message in the world of digital and collaborative clients. Clients today are engaging in social media to find solutions, but they still want to then connect and engage with a sales professional once they have done their homework. The evidence of this is the increased use of Twitter. This is a conversation that ‘sparks’ interest but doesn’t close the business.
Take a few minutes and go to your LinkedIn Profile and look at it from an outside perspective. Does it grab your attention? Does it show what solutions you provide? Does it give a good summary of your skills, attitude and expertise?
Then go through your connections and see where there are opportunities to connect with some of your connections and some of their connections ‘2’ connections. There are so many prospects sitting amongst your connections and if you don’t do anything with this information you are not working this social selling model well enough.