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Buckminster Fuller – The Library

Bucky wrote over 35 books, received over 50 honorary doctorate degrees from universities internationally, more than 150 university fellowships, invented and patented over 110 inventions, is the most built architect in the world, and traveled internationally extensively as guest of state and invited lecturer.

Why Some (Sales) People Think LinkedIn Doesn’t Work

Fortune: New Possibilities

Why Some (Sales) People Think LinkedIn Doesn’t Work For Them

LinkedIn is a very powerful tool that can support us when we want to get in touch with potential customers – from all around the world.

However many salespeople tell us LinkedIn doesn’t work for them. In this article we talk about the three most common misconceptions.

      1. Though crafting a good Profile helps people find you based on your expertise, products or services (via Linkedin or via Google or other search engines), this is not where the power of LinkedIn resides.
      2. LinkedIn is a very powerful tool for salespeople who are proactive and don’t wait till someone contacts them.

“I have made a Profile, now potential customers will contact me one after the other.”

  1. “I have sent some potential customers an Invitation. However they don’t accept the Invitation or don’t respond to my messages to buy my products or services.”
    1. LinkedIn is a NETWORK tool and not a SALES tool. LinkedIn helps to build relationships with people. If you use it like a “cold-calling machine,” the reaction of people will be the same as with a “cold-call”: no reaction or even rejection. Not only is this not effective and not very efficient, there is also another danger: LinkedIn has tools available to indicate you are a spammer. If you get too many of these “flags”, your chances of fostering a connection and building rapport with others will be greatly reduced!
    2. It’s About the Relationships! The golden rule of Bob Burg always applies: “All things being equal people do business with and refer business to people they know, like and trust.” LinkedIn offers you the opportunity to increase these 3 factors if done in the right way. Crafting a good Profile, helping others in Discussions and Answers and not pushing your products or services you already helps a lot, just like in “real life”.
  2. I use the “Get Introduced To” function to get me referred by my network to potential customers.
    1. Though this approach might get you some results, it is not always the best option… and your own network doesn’t always forward your messages and the prospect doesn’t always reply (or read unknown senders’ messages, for that matter!). There might be several reasons for that, but the reasons most people don’t think of are: your contact doesn’t know the prospect well enough, your contact doesn’t know you well enough or your contact thinks that your message is too pushy.
    2. Instead use LinkedIn as a research database to discover the relationships between people and then proceed outside of LinkedIn. Call your contact and explain him the situation. If he responds positively, ask him to write an email to introduce you and the prospect to each other. In this way your prospect receives the message from someone he already knows and trusts. If you use LinkedIn, you are the one who takes the initiative, which is much less powerful.

About the Author

Jan Vermeiren is the founder of Networking Coach. Following on the best seller success of his first book “Let’s Connect!” , in his second book “How to REALLY use LinkedIn” he reveals even more the dynamics of networking and tools that anybody can immediately apply.

Together with his team at Networking Coach, Jan gives presentations and training courses in the field of networking and referrals. Customers are large organisations like Deloitte, Dupont, IBM, ING, SAP, Sun Microsystems and Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School , as well as small companies and freelancers.

Get your free light version of “How to REALLY use LinkedIn” at: http://www.how-to-really-use-linkedin.com

Creative Commons License photo credit: zzzack

10 Reasons to Use Facebook for Business

facebook-screenshot

10 Reasons to Use Facebook for Business

Social networking websites, especially Facebook, have significant implications for business owners, marketers, and entrepreneurs around the world. To keep your business current, you should at least be familiar with the latest conversational marketing techniques and viral technologies, including Facebook and its array of powerful features.

Here are ten reasons to be active on Facebook:

1. Meet your peers. Facebook is not just for college kids anymore. Members are typically older and more mature than on other sites, and there are more white collar users.

2. Find business contacts. Facebook reached more than 200 million active users in April 2009, and is predicted to overtake MySpace in the United States by January 2010, not only are your friends on Facebook, so are your prospects, your customers, your JV partners… and, of course, your competitors. You need to be on too.

3. Instant gate opener. Facebook members are open to connecting. You can easily begin a dialog with highly successful—even famous—people who were previously otherwise unreachable.

4. Build relationships. By engaging in conversations with your prospects and customers, you can better adapt your marketing and business services to meet their needs.

5. Raise visibility. By consistently showing up, posting relevant information, and being a thought leader, you can increase visibility and credibility as an expert in your area.

6. Develop your personal brand. The lines between business and personal have become blurred. You can reveal as much or as little about yourself as you wish, allowing you to personalize your brand.

7. Target your niche. Users volunteer vast amounts of information about themselves that you can readily access. These kinds of demographics, psychographics, and technographics would previously have cost fortunes to access. Author, John Battelle, calls Facebook a “database of intentions.”

8. Get rapid top Google placement. Create a Page for your business and ‘‘push” information to your “fans.” Pages (for business) and Profiles (for personal) are indexed for optimal search engine positioning. Facebook has a PageRank of 3/10, and an Alexa Rank of 4.

9. Place targeted ads. With Facebook Social Ads, you can test out extremely targeted advertising for minimal cost.

10. No cost marketing. Aside from paid ads, Facebook is totally free to use and with regular activity you’ll end up with more traffic, more subscribers, and more paying clients.

Mari Smith graduated from Money & You in May 1999, and from Business School for Entrepreneurs in June 1999. She is a Social Media Keynote Speaker, Consultant & Trainer. She offers a free introductory class for professionals on how to use Facebook for strategic business growth at: http://whyfacebook.com. Class materials include guides, how-to videos, discussion forum, and dozens of interviews with successful active Facebook members.

Creative Commons License photo credit: jonathansin