By: Rick Sherman, Forward Progress
I wonder if this year will be just as unpredictable and volatile as the one we left behind. I don’t know the answer to that, but I do know there is one certainty in these uncertain times. WE NEED TO SELL TO SURVIVE…WE NEED TO SELL TO SUCCEED!
We all would agree that sales, in essence, is a numbers game. However, with organizations facing tighter marketing budgets, less man-power, and more shared responsibilities…filling up the prospect pipeline with qualified candidates is going to be a tremendous challenge.
So how do you reach your targeted audience in a cost effective way? How do you increase your exposure beyond your current geographical or social barriers? How do you network with a million people simultaneously? BY LIVING IN THE VIRTUAL WORLD!
Some of you reading this are already using virtual business tools as a way to grow your organization. Others are new travelers to this developing frontier. Regardless of your position, this is an area of critical importance in 2010. This is simply the most cost effective and time effective way to maximize your exposure and reach potential clients.
OBJECTIVE #1 – VIRTUAL NETWORKING
Consider the exposure available in some of the more prominent business/social networking sites:
Over 30 Million users across 150 different industries. This is not a social site…it’s a business site.
Over 130 Million users, with people logging 2.6 Billion minutes a day on the site. This is primarily a social site, however it does have great business opportunities by creating targeted ad’s, pages, and leveraging the “Visa Business Network” platform.
Ryze.com & Tribe.net
These are smaller business orientated sites that don’t have the volume, but allow for a more specific exposure point.
Aside from the exposure from the site itself, consider the peripheral opportunities:
- DRIVE TRAFFIC TO YOUR WEB-SITE or SPECIFIC URL
- RECRUIT TALENT
- STRATEGIC ALLIANCES
- KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE – MARKET RESEARCH
- PUBLISH ARTICLES – BRAND AWARENESS – INDUSTRY EXPERT PERCEPTION
- EXPOSURE TO NETWORKING/CHARITABLE EVENTS – FACE 2 FACE OPPORTUNITIES
- MOST IMPORTANTLY – BUILD TRUST!
Each of the above is FREE TO JOIN! Is there a time commitment necessary to compile and update your information? Of course. However, consider the alternative: Do you want to spend time, money, gas, and expenses practicing traditional prospecting techniques? Or do you want to leverage technology and virtual networking to create business opportunities in the most cost effective way possible?
Remember…as you are looking at them…they are also looking at you. Living virtually provides the world 24/7 access to you 365 days a year! You are representing something much larger than yourself. It is imperative that you protect, promote, and represent the brand in a manner that is consistent with your ideals, goals, and mission statement.
THIS IS ONLY THE BEGINNING
Virtual Networking is simply the tip of the proverbial iceberg. It is also, quite simply, the best place to begin. If you are new to this arena…virtual networking will provide you with the education, experience, and confidence to take the next step. If you are already a savvy virtual networker, then I would challenge you to go even further. Are you utilizing video e-mail? Running strategic e-campaigns? Are you blogging, and posting? Advertising effectively on-line? Do you have a fully integrated marketing strategy that combines traditional methodology with the power of the internet? Have you googled your company and yourself to see the virtual worlds first impression of you?