“It’s just a time sucker and it gives them an excuse to not be selling,” the Director of Sales told me. “Really. Does anyone actually get any business from telling people what they ate for breakfast.”
Yes, sort of.
What does it take to make social media work for you?
Social media, no different from attending a cocktail party or networking event, is all about wanting to be there, or at least wanting to be there once you’re there. If you think the night is going to be a waste of time, you’re probably right. Same with LinkedIn, Twitter and FB.
Being successful at social media may require a different sales mentality to be successful because it isn’t about selling. It’s about adding value for others. One client didn’t understand why no one participated with them on LinkedIn. After reviewing what they were posting, it was easy to see why every post was about them; their property, their “exciting” news, their everything. They used LinkedIn as their elevator pitch – a way to feature puke – instead of as a conversation starter. By posting information that creates greater success for your intended social-mates, you earn happy social mates. Those are the people who are likely to participate in a conversation with you and become truly interested in learning more about how you can help them at your property, etc.
Trolling the internet for qualified prospects is a time sucker. It is a valuable use of time only when you know EXACTLY who benefits from what you offer (focused search) and what educational content will pique their interest. Job #1 is to get on their radar and provide content that will help them. By developing trust – over time – you earn the right to advance.
One quick way to develop trust is to have a referral. Beginning your email with: Hi Name, Bill Williams suggested I contact you is, as they say, priceless. Of course, it will go down hill from there if you start to sell. It’s about building trust so that the other person wants to be involved with you and what you offer. (See cocktail party analogy above.)
And about breakfast. It really does help to let people get to know you on more than a professional level. That doesn’t mean telling them about every meal you eat (or even most) but helping others feel comfortable with you is all part of building a comfortable relationship.
Oatmeal with cinnamon, nuts and crasisins. Wanna link?