When was the last time you eagerly received a cold call?

Statistics say that 97% of cold calls are ineffective. Why?

Thanks to the World Wide Web, we now have access to a ton of information at our fingertips. We can Google anything, anytime.

As a result of our access to information, your prospective clients have researched a solution to their problem and have made their purchase decision before they’ve picked up the phone to call you.

They read articles and blogs. They ask friends and family but also trust online reviews from strangers.

Since our prospects are more educated and empowered than ever before, not only do we have to collaborate and work with our prospective clients to help provide a solution but relationships are more important than ever.

Your network is your net worth” – unknown
(Porter Gale also has a book with the same title)

I have always been an advocate of QUALITY over quantity. This includes your LinkedIn Connections.

People buy from (and refer business to) those they know, like and trust.

Thankfully, Social Media sites like LinkedIn allow you to build trust within your network. You can:

  • Create a strong Social Media presence so you’re more likely to get inbound leads. (This includes investing in developing your LinkedIn profile)
  • Publish compelling content that solves problems and resonates with your target audience
  • Ensure that content is reaching your community where they congregate
  • Ask your 1st degree connections on LinkedIn to introduce you to your 2nd degree connection (who just happens to be your dream client)
  • Stay in touch. This is one of the most often overlooked aspects of Social Media = engagement. It takes between 8-10 times for someone to start to resonate with your brand and 80% of sales are made on the 5th to 12th contact. (Source: National Sales Executive Association)
  • Join relevant LinkedIn Groups and jump into conversations where you can contribute answers to questions and position yourself as an expert

You may think Social Media is a “time suck” but according to Forbes, 78% of salespeople who use Social Media outsell their peers.

You know Social Media is here to stay. It’s time for you to learn how to use these tools properly so you can build a quality network and convert higher-paying clients more efficiently.

Now it’s YOUR turn: Have YOU converted new business as a result of your online networking? What kinds of strategies have you set in place for warm introductions?

Leslie Hughes is a LinkedIn Optimization Specialist, Professor of Social Media, Corporate Social Media Trainer and Principal of PUNCH!media

Leslie was called a “Social Media Guru” by CBC Radio and has been working in digital marketing since 1997 and founded PUNCH!media in 2009. PUNCH!media clients include The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada, Guardian Life Insurance Company of America and TVO.

PUNCH!media’s goal is to empower through education and help executives gain confidence in their online presence so they convert higher paying clients