Empire Selling has just completed its first 12 months in business and what a ride it has been. Our mission was to provide critical social selling and marketing training to employees at companies around the world. We ended 2018 having provided classroom training to more than 2,000 employees at companies ranging from small startups in New York to Fortune 100 companies including American Express and MasterCard. We even got to visit Sydney, Australia and hang out with SAP.
You have to keep it human when it comes to online networking. If you went to an in-person networking event, would you go up to every single person at the event and introduce yourself by saying: "I think I have something that will be of interest to you" or "I think it would make sense for us to be connected"? I suspect not. So don't do it on LinkedIn.
One of the biggest challenges for many sales people is getting a seat at the table with the person that matters the most. The economic buyer. The person with budget and discretionary spending authority to make decisions quickly. It's not one of the biggest challenges because these people are awful human beings who don't want to speak with us. Most economic buyers are very nice people. It's the biggest challenge because they are suffering from what is becoming known as 'seller fatigue'.
Networking can be defined as “the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions; specifically: the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business” (Merriam-Webster).
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network, with almost 550 million members at the writing of this article. This presents an unprecedented opportunity to exchange services, cultivate relationships and secure referrals at scale.
Ten years ago, I would have been way more compassionate and agreed that 'being social' might be a little risky. But it's 2018. Having a digital strategy integrated across multiple channels is the new mandate to neutralize criticism. It’s become critical to transparently tell the company’s story and join the conversation.