Before the social tools were available, researching the contacts within your dream client’s company was a difficult task. To find information, you had to review the business section of the newspaper and the local business journal. Technology has changed the value and availability of information, and there is no reason that you should not research your prospective clients. In fact, you can build quite a dossier with little effort.
After research, much of the advice on social begins with a premise that isn’t very helpful and prevents salespeople from producing better prospecting results. That premise is that any attempt to communicate over the phone or face to face must be initiated only after you have developed an online engagement of some sort. This is incorrect, as are many ideas that suggest mutual exclusivity.
Wait Not, Want Not
Waiting isn’t a sales strategy. It is too passive. Baiting the hook and waiting is a strategy for fisherman.
Believing that you have no right to ask for an appointment without having first developed a relationship online is riddled with problems.
- First, it demonstrates a lack of confidence, an inability to create value. If you believe what you sell will change your dream client’s results, you should be anxious to share it with them. Why would you wait?
- Second, while you are waiting for relationships to blossom on the social channels, another salesperson can very easily pick up the phone and schedule an appointment with your dream client.
- Third, if you are pursuing someone’s business, there is no reason that they should have no awareness of that fact. You are supposed to be developing a preference for you, your company, and your offering.
There isn’t a single place or medium from which to open a relationship. You can just easily start with a referral, an email, or a phone call. There is also no single place from which you must begin nurturing a relationship or becoming known as a value creator.
So why not begin the process of being known and being known as someone with ideas–who also believes deeply that they have ideas worth their dreams client’s time–with a phone call? There is nothing about making a phone call and requesting an appointment that prevents you from also connecting on LinkedIn and sharing your insights on other social channels.
By calling first (or early), you make it known that you have ideas worth your dream client’s time. You avoid the slow, painful creep of poor results that passivity breeds, as well as the competitive losses to someone who did what was necessary to be in front of an opportunity.
Good things don’t come to those who wait. Good things come to those who take action and persist over long periods of time.