I was sitting in a seminar for Leeds Business week yesterday. I looked around the room, which was probably filled with budding entrepreneurs, who were all hoping to gain new insight into how they could all find new business and make their first million. I started to think – what is the best way to network and build lasting working relationships with new clients? Got to be LinkedIn right?! after all we live in the age of technology.
I had no doubt that everyone in that room thought they had a different product or service that would change people’s lives… something that far exceeded their competition and they were so excited about getting their message out to the world! Well if they weren’t, I certainly was 😊
But what is the best way to get your message out there and win new business? Do we frantically sit behind our laptops merrily tapping away, thinking of new personalised messages to write when we find someone who we want to connect with on LinkedIn – messages that we believe to be witty and engaging but somehow drive other people crazy! We eagerly wait to see if they connect back, and if they do what is the correct etiquette to go back to them with? A simple thank you is not going to l and you that big client win nor is jumping down their throat with a big sales pitch … how long do you “play the game” for, before its acceptable to even mention that you would like to talk to them about what you do …. Can’t we just be honest from the offset? I mean come on, they have accepted your request, this would indicate that they have seen your profile and get and have a fair underst anding of what you might do.
It amazes me that people still find it inappropriate to spark up a business conversation straight away … isn’t that’s what linked in is for? networking ? so why is it taboo to talk about business straight away ? I know …people are scared that they might, in some way shape of form get sold to (even though it is how businesses grow) so they “Ghost” you – Argh annoying, don’t connect if you are not going to reply to my lovely friendly, non-salesy message! don’t be scared …. I am nice honestly.
So, what is best way to build new working relationships and win new business? I think LinkedIn is a great tool to build your network but don’t under estimate the power of picking up the phone and meeting people face to face. It is by far the best way to secure new business … let’s not hide behind our laptops all day, don’t be scared to talk to people – make calls and take calls! You never know, you might just find a contact who will benefit your business.
What works for you?