Right now, social networking is one of the most viable means of sales prospecting, but only if you use it correctly. Sites like twitter and even nings can be useful, but for those serious about marketing, Linkedin is the best place to start.
When you first start utilizing social networking to increase sales, it can be easy to fall into a few common pitfalls that will actually hamper your efforts. We’ll show you how to avoid these pitfalls, and grow your business the easy way.
Before you begin prospecting on Linkedin, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the service and how it works. Start by setting up a profile and put some effort into it. The more fleshed out it is, the more you will appeal to fellow users.
Instead of getting by with the free option, spend the extra money to get a business account with the service. You’ll get more tools that will make your sales prospecting easier, and you’ll simply get more out of the service.
After you feel reasonably comfortable with the service, you can begin the actual process of finding prospects. Start small and focus on finding people that will already be interested in what you have to offer.
Until you are more established, it is easier to hyper focus, rather than expending effort to create sales converts. The key to success is being genuine and offering something of value. Many people have abused social networking sites and users are wary of high pressure techniques.
Sales Prospecting the Right Way
Instead of jumping right into your sales pitch once you have connected with those will be interested in what you have to offer, it is best to build relationships. This is a vital step and it should not be rushed. While it is possible to have instant marketing success on these sites, it is smarter to work for a long term goal.
You can compare this to a party and the inevitable insurance salesman that pesters you throughout the night. Do you want to come off like that? Online networking needs a subtle touch, and it is best to take your time and really build up a relationship.
This is very similar to building your brand, and this foundation that you lay now will help you build a strong network structure that will last.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
We’ve already touched on a few things that you want to avoid, but let’s go over some of the most important pitfalls that can ruin your efforts with this service.
1. Abusing the system. Take it slow and avoid the urge to mass contact as many people as you can. Instead, focus your time on building a few relationships that will pay off in the long term.
2. Too much communication. Do you have a friend that calls you incessantly, always bugging you? You don’t want to be that friend. Keep in steady touch with your contacts, but don’t inundate them.
3. Failing to set up a complete profile. Your profile is your face to the world and you will want to take the time to set it up correctly. On the other end of the equation, you don’t want to go overboard. Find the middle ground that will support your sales prospecting efforts and put your best face forward.
Now that you know how to utilize this powerful form of marketing, it’s time to get out there and put what you’ve learned to work. Don’t let yourself be intimidated. Networking is fun and profitable when you go about it the right way.