Tag Archives: linkedin

Social media and cold calling

Theresa Merrill: Cold-calling is thriving —thanks in part to social media.

The parallels are impressive. Effective cold calling is about engaging the prospect with a valid business reason. Social media is about brands trying to make meaningful connections with consumers. All contact with a new business prospects is cold whether it’s via social media, networking, email or the phone.

Even with Inbound Marketing, there is always going to be a need for prospecting to develop new customers. When properly executed cold calling is an integral part of any seller’s repertoire. Leverage social media sites to support the most important aspect of cold calling—targeting and preparation.

Choose your prospects wisely. Quality of prospects equals quality of return.

Only proceed when you’ve uncovered a need/problem for which you can provide a benefit/solution.

Intelligence gathering is available across many platforms. Set-up Google alerts for target accounts. Identify news blogs/apps that cover their industry. The benefit of this is two-fold. You can warm the prospect up by sending an email mentioning something relevant to their business, while gaining knowledge on what’s key to their success. Don’t just visit their website, but immerse yourself in the blogs and press releases. Blogs are open windows into the philosophy and focus of the company. Comment on them. Share them on other social media/network sites. “Like” their company Facebook page. Follow them on Twitter. If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, set one up immediately. LinkedIn suffers from an identity crisis—it’s not just for job seekers. It’s an invaluable source of information on individuals and their companies. Build your connections, but even without many connections there’s much to gain. Join LinkedIn Groups—there’s a group for every type of business and business concept. Don’t limit yourself to ones in your industry, but join ones that your target accounts might belong to. Ask engaging questions and use this as an opportunity to showcase your business expertise.

Remember social media is about “giving to get.” Share your beliefs and people that value them will connect. Follow companies on LinkedIn. You’ll see who in your network is connected to them and gain access to activity updates that provide valuable information about internal and strategic moves. Follow individuals, you’ve targeted.

Once armed with the knowledge as to what benefit you can provide this prospect, send an InMail or ask a mutual connection to introduce you. InMail is an under-utilized tool on LinkedIn, due to a fear of intruding on someone’s privacy (cold calling).

With all the talk about Social media being the new cold calling, one thing holds true for both—executed poorly they can be a enormous waste of time. By doing your homework, proceeding with a plan and integrating the two platforms into your total marketing mix they will help you, and your sellers, achieve your new business goals.

By the Numbers.. Social Media’s Current State

Ignite Social Media compares the trends of the years past, habits of men vs women and which social networking outlets are on the rise along with which are plummeting. Do you agree?

The List: 15 networking sites for small businesses

Twitter and Facebook are two social networking sites that have grown tremendously over the past couple of years. Many businesses big or small utilize these sites and incorporate them as apart of their marketing platform to start discussions and gain connections. However, for smaller businesses, it is wise to consider other social networking sites as well. These will help you connect with people in a smaller and local setting.

  • PartnerUp: allows business owners to find partners and expertise to start or expand a current business
  • Ryze: designed to link new entrepreneurs together
  • Meet the Boss: a business networking tool for business executives all around the world
  • LinkedIn: extends your list of professional contacts and allows you to build an online resume
  • Qapacity: allows owners to promote their business online and keep their partners and clients up to date with their current work
  • Yelp: a local business review site including recommendations
  • FledgeWing: an online community aimed at entrepreneurial business students
  • Xing: a social platform for enabling a small world network for professionals
  • Talkbiznow: an interactive business networking site
  • Cofoundr: a private social network for individuals involved in starting new business ventures
  • The Funded: enables entrepreneurs to research, rate, and review, venture capital sources worldwide
  • Entrepreneur Connect: a destination where entrepreneurs can exchange real world advice
  • Biznik: a local, independent, entrepreneurial community
  • Perfect Business: helps entrepreneurial launch and grow their businesses
  • Startup Nation: provides real world business advice to people who want to start a business or expand their small business

Good luck and remember to take advantage of the free social networking sites in order to enhance your current marketing plan.