Secret of Social Media to Help with Business Development?

So how many of us look for leads on a daily basis? What is the secret? How can Social Media help you with developing new business? OK so are you ready?

Finding leads takes work, it takes follow-up. So how do you use Social Media to help you with business development? First let me tell you what IBM has done with Social Media. IBM has over 50,000 employees. With their internal social media site they can now use the power of those 50,000 employees to help sales develop warm leads. If you are looking to get a meeting with XYZ company you reach out to those 50,000 employees and ask if they know anyone in XYZ company. The technology allows them to reach out to that group in real-time and get answers quickly. With that many people there may be someone who has a sibling, parent, extended family member or friend that works there and then it is up to the sales consultant to follow-up with that lead and move up or down the chain to get to the right person.

Let’s take it one step further and make it personal. I have 259 connections with LinkedIn that are my first connections. There are also 2nd and 3rd degree connections. The big picture is this, I have 6,317,100 connections that I can contact through an introduction. With this number of possible connections I am able to get into organizations with warm leads like Apple, NetApp, Sales Force, SAP and many more.

So what is the secret? The secret is DO! Yes that is it, just DO! Richard Branson has a better phrase “Screw it Let’s Do it!” Now I have to admit to you that I have been in the group in the past that has just known and has not done. I have been successful but I have not had the success that I could because I have not done. We could go into the reasons that people don’t Do but we will save that for another blog.

You can use Facebook, Twitter and any other Social Media site as well to achieve the results of warm leads. To get introduced to the right person that will lead you to a new sale, new business, more business or to find a valued partner. The options are limitless if you use Social Media to introduce you to the right person.

If you added 5 warm meetings to your week how many sales could you close in a month?

You’ve heard it is all about networking and this is why they call it Social Networking. Imagine these introductions as getting virtual business cards.

To paraphrase Chris Brogan, don’t be a collector of business cards, real or virtual, but use the business cards you collect to actually develop leads. I admit I am guilty of being a collector but I have found that when I actually follow-up, those people turn into actual customers. Or as Yoda would say “there is no try, there is only do or do not”.

My challenge to you and myself is to Do. Use Social Media to expand your network and go after those companies you thought you couldn’t get into. Starting in June I am going to embark on my own 100 day challenge. You will be able to come along with me. Until then wake up every day and Do!

Les Adkins – CEO of Social Media Solutions (soon to be Orange-SMS)

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