If you search the internet you will find lots of articles about social media with many people praising and probably just as many criticising. It definitely appears to have the marmite factor.
I am talking here about social media for business. When I first dabbled in Ecademy, was invited to join Plaxo and then discovered LinkedIn I was dubious and curious at the same time. How could something like this be of value when it initially looks like another place to record my database of contacts and to communicate with them? I was already sending out a regular e-newsletter to keep in touch with my contacts so why did I need to communicate here too?
On hearing that LinkedIn was the preferred online network for businesses I ditched the others and began to build my LinkedIn network.
There are many people offering advice on how to use LinkedIn as a marketing tool, that is something that will attract new potential customers to you but what I am interested in is how to use it as a sales tool and, more specifically, as a networking tool.
For me the real potential in LinkedIn is how to tap into the networks of people I know to gain introductions – as we know a warm introduction is far better than a cold call. I am happy to provide my network to others too within the parameters of certain networking etiquette (more of this in a future blog).
Here are my top three tips for using LinkedIn as a sales and networking tool:
1. Firstly build your network of connections by inviting people you know, like and trust to connect with you.
2. Secondly as part of your preparation for a telephone conversation or meeting with one of your contacts have a look at their connections. You will then be able to identify any of their connections that you would like to meet and this can form part of your conversation.
3. Thirdly the most exciting for me is using the search facility (top right of the screen) to search for a specific name, a company, a job title or an industry sector. This will bring up a list of people and identify who is connected to someone else in your network or a member of a group that you belong to. Now you can ask for an introduction (again some best practice suggestions for this in a future blog).
So for me for the quality of conversation that I can now have about referrals and introductions, just like marmite, I love it rather than hate it. How about connecting with me at https://uk.linkedin.com/in/breathoffreshair?