Accelerating Goal Achievement to Grow Your Business Today: How to Get that 80% Return Daily
There is no question that selling today bears no resemblance to selling a year ago. At the same time there has been one area in business that has realized a decided growth–the development of social networking. Social networking most simply defined as online networking has grown and will certainly continue to grow perhaps even more so during these fearful times. So what can you be doing as a business owner to capitalize on these low-cost, no-cost marketing and sales tools that are like super express trains helping accelerate top line sales success? Following are three key strategies you can implement immediately to capitalize on a real “Network Effect” for your sales initiatives.
First, choose just one social networking platform to master. Why? Over the last twenty years I have worked with some of the best companies–Motorola, CNA, American Express, Hewitt, UBS and so on with leaders who were constantly searching for the best and most successful tools to grow their markets. When they asked me to offer my suggestions, the successful results I have seen kept leading me back to social networks and social networking strategies, but more specifically, the strategy I have found even more successful is to master just one platform rather than try to learn and then leverage mutiliple platforms.
My number one prediction since its inception has been that LinkedIn would become a leader in social networks for business. Now with more than 35 million users, the average age being 41, with all Fortune 500 companies represented with literally hundreds of employees going up to the C-Level, LinkedIn is a platform that can help cut sales cycles by 30% or more. For the last six years my organization has used LinkedIn to help more than 3000 professionals use how to use LinkedIn to grow their sales and recruit top talent.
Second, because networking at its core is based on building trust, I have seen that social networking strategies can help with not only generate new leads, prospects and customers but also upsell new account opportunities. The real question to ask when growing your network today would be, “Who are the super connectors who my company’s sales professionals can build trust with to create continuous introductions into new and existing accounts?”
With the many leaders I have met over the last two decades it was not until the development of online social networking sites that any of us discovered there would be millions of people who have top-level networking skills and be “ready, willing and able” to make introductions to key decision makers, or at the very least, are people who are Two Degrees or just one person away from the key decision makers at almost any company. Semi-conductor companies, insurance , high tech–you name it, all industries have top-level networkers who are accessible. Why are these people so willing to help others? They see the networking as “opportunity expansive” instead of “opportunity limiting.” Another name for these people is “Open Networker.” ,The good news is that anyone can build a base of connections to these professionals who will make valuable introductions. And now an introduction has become the new referral. And the cost? Nothing. And the time? Well if a cold call would be considered a Six-Degree Connection what would be the time savings to realize, instead, a Two-Degree Connection?
Third , perhaps the most interesting reality is that social networks are just hitting their stride. As business professionals move from becoming aware of social networks for top line sales to a recognition that they are relevant to building trust faster to acquiring and taking ownership of new accounts to leveraging even more new sales as your customers begin to see you as a leader in your market and then choose to leverage your brand out to even more new potential customers, you will be well on your way to realizing your top line sales vision through your relationships.
Social Networks are here to stay. The only real question is will you be one of the early adopters who leverages their usefulness or will you be one of the Laggards (a company who progresses slowly and falls behind the others)? It’s really as simple as that.
Top Learning Point: Know the Four Stages of Branding to Take Optimum Advantage of Top Line Sales
- Brand Awareness – Your market needs to first be aware you are out there before they can begin to recogize that you have something that might be of value to their business.
- Brand Recognition – Once your market is aware you are out there they need to recognize that you offer products and services can help their business become more successful.
- Brand Ownership – Once your market recognizes your value they are willing to engage you as a vendor partner. Youare first, more of a vendor than a partner perhaps, but, if you know how to continuously listen to your customers’ needs and respond sometimes even create new products and services to serve them, you will quickly turn into a partner.
- Brand Leverage – And when your customers become real partners with you, you will then find even more opportunities such as co-creating with them through joint ventures and, most certainly, realizing the very real benefit of them naturally spreading word-of-mouth endorsements for you fine work. In other words you will realize the best top line sales opportunities.