How LinkedIn Enhances Our Face-to-Face Networking

The Changing Face of Business

As the business world evolves, so must the businessperson. Adapting to the new way to research our prospects and networking partners, identify rapport-building insights and learn about what matters to them has never been more accessible or more critical to the sales process.  

networking

Here is what hasn’t changed, the importance of relationships. And believe it or not, with all the online information and access, people still buy from people they know, like and trust (thank you Zig Ziglar). We all know that networking is critical to growing business relationships and getting referrals, and coffee meetings are a popular way to do that. Here is a typical synario:

 Greg meets Tracy at Chamber event and they hit it off. They decide to meet at a café in a few days to learn more about each other and see how they may be able to help each other out.

 At the meeting, Greg talks about his insurance business for 20 minutes, what he does, who he helps and all the products and services he offers. Then it is Tracy turn to talk about her marketing company, and 45 minutes into the meeting, Greg asks, “Tracy, who do you know that can use my services?” and Tracy goes blank, pauses for a few seconds and finally responds, “Boy Greg, I can’t think of anyone right now, but if someone should ask for a new Insurance Agent, I will be happy to refer you.” Bummer…

Flip the Script

Until LinkedIn…Now, before the meeting Greg sends a LinkedIn connection request to Tracy confirming their coffee date. Once Tracy accepts, Greg sends a second note, “Tracy, I am looking forward to our meeting. Please feel free to go through my LinkedIn connections and make a list of 20 or so people that I am connected to that might be good introductions for you. When we meet we can review the list and whittle it down to 3 or 4 targeted professionals that I can introduce to you.”

Greg does the same, he visits Tracy’s profile, scrolls down to her Connections Section, clicks on the magnify glass, types in the title of the people he is looking to meet, clicks the advanced search hyper link on the left and drills down through Tracy’s connections. He does his due diligence, and brings a list of 16 people that he would love to get in front of.

At the meeting, Greg spends 5 minutes talking about himself, 5 minutes learning about Tracy and 50 minutes reviewing each others’ lists. By the end of the meeting they exchange introduction paragraphs, Greg sends emails to the selected connections and copies Tracy in each message. Tracy does the same.

Grow Through Mutual Introductions

As an example, here is my paragraph that I share with my networking relationships.

I would like to introduce you to Brynne Tillman, President & CEO of Social Sales Link. I thought it might make sense for the two of you to connect and investigate how you might work together. Brynne helps sales professionals build their pipeline, reduce the sales cycle and close more business through leveraging the power of LinkedIn.  Brynne’s LinkedIn programs have made a significant impact on the way her professionals are growing their business. Brynne will be contacting you in the next couple of days, please take her call; I believe it will be well worth your time. If you would like to reach out to Brynne, her contact information is:

Brynne.Tillman@SocialSalesLink.com | 888.775.5262 | https://www.linkedin.com/in/brynnetillman

Getting Real

I was networking with Rob Petcove, Area Vice President at Gallagher insurance. Rob is my client as well as a strong networking partner. I noticed he was connected to Rob Curley, South Jersey President at TD Bank. “How do you know Rob Curley, I asked?”  Petcove, “Our boys both have Juvenile Diabetes and we are both active in the local association.” I followed up with, “Would you be open to making a introduction for me?” and within days the introduction to Curley was made. Once the email went out, I replied all and sent a note:

Rob Petcove,

Thank you for the introduction.

Rob Curley,

I am looking forward to meeting you, I will be in South Jersey next Thursday, can we meet before 11a or after 3pm? I got a brief response that I have 30 minute window – 10-10:30am

 I was in!  When I got to the meeting, Rob Curley was clearly rushed and closed. After a quick handshake, He looked looked at me, crossed his arms, leaned back and said “Go”

“Rob, I asked, would I have been in front of you today if I had cold called you?” with a cracked smile he said…”no way.”  “So how did I get 30 minutes of your time?”

“Rob Petcove is my buddy and he said I should talk with you – that is the only reason.”

“Ah, so if I could teach all of your loan officers to get in front of decision makers this way, would that help your business grow?”

After less than 3 seconds, he leaned in and said, “Okay, let’s do it”  And TD Bank was now a client. Does it happen that easy all the time? Not all the time, but a lot of it!  Try it, you’ll like it!

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