Category Archives: Lead Generation

LinkedIn or Linked Out?

LinkedInWhat a great innovation. LinkedIn gave us a true social media-connecting place. A home where we can share profiles, experience and get in touch with past, present and future peers. LinkedIn was an open place to learn from others and share our knowledge, but something went terribly wrong. This group of networking individuals became a fertile hunting ground for Gypsies Tramps and Thieves.

Profiles are now being read, not to build personal relationships, but to collect marketing contacts to pitch unwanted products and services. Is there any doubt that many C level executives, decision makers and busy professionals have linked out of LinkedIn? No one wants to put a “Kick me” sign on their own back. As the number of LinkedIn departures grow so does the entrance of more and more marketers. LinkedIn Trainers have now broadened their scope from how to set up a profile and use LinkedIn to how to increase your revenue by harvesting this social media crop of networkers.

Introducing Patty Profiler. Patty spends her days, using LinkedIn search tools, to find people who are targets for her products. Once located you are asked to connect for the purpose of her gaining more contact info to be put into a database to be texted and emailed the benefits of her products and services. Should you somehow make the mistake of revealing your phone number in your profile, you will then enjoy and endless stream of phone calls from offshore solicitors.

Introducing Dan Discussion. Dan spends his day joining and participating in discussion groups and is eager to respond when innocents, seeking guidance or information, ask questions. Dan is quick to respond and skillfully turns the question or problem into an opportunity to provide a raving review of how this similar problem was solved by using XYZ product. Dan of course sells the XYZ product. Dan has also been known to start a discussion by dangling a question, as bait in front of his discussion group members who think they are participating in an information exchange but in reality will wind up with an unsolicted sales pitch.

Introducing Terry and Tom Tag Team. Like Dan, Terry and Tom are self-promoters but have figured out that once they enter a discussion group, members can view their profile and see their profession. They realize that the value of their sales messages would be diminished if they pitched their own wares so Terry and Tommy, who are from different industries, take turns creating responses to discussions that praise how they have benefited from each other’s products or solutions. The innocent discussion group member once again believes they are getting generous unbiased direction but in reality have just been Tagged Teamed.

Introducing Carl the Collector. We all know Carl; his profile shows up as having over 500 connections and is proud to brag he has several thousand. Carl couldn’t possibly connect with all these people with the intention of which Linked was built. Mathematically, if he made contact with two each day, it would take him over three years to get around to all of them. So why is Carl such a collector? What does he do with all those connections? Carl’s wife is Lisa the list seller. Connecting with Carl and giving him access to you and your network is a free ticket to automated phones calls at dinnertime pitching you a free summer vacation.

And finally, I present to you, Competitive Connie. Connie is in the same business as you are. She is your competitor. Under the guise of, “ I think we should talk and help each other”, asks to join your network. Once in, Connie scans your connections and guess what? She just got access to your customers for future prospecting for her services. The fox is now in your hen house, the very hen house you built on LinkedIn.

Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves have driven out many a sincere LinkedIn user. More and more people grow weary of spending time on a social media site that now puts them at the bull’s eye of solicitation. As these people leave and more marketers join, the future LinkedIn might just be a place where no one is sincerely connecting, everyone is pitching and no one is catching.

Author: Rich Lucia

You Can Lead A Horse To Water, But First You Have To Find A Horse

Sales training usually starts in the quest for more sales. Seems to me that the most knowledgeable presenter, objection handler or expert closer is helpless when seated in front of an empty chair.

Let’s work on how we engage a new prospect before we jump into the tailspin of verbal gymnastics. Buyers are not welcoming doorknockers anymore and the Internet provides more objective information than the salesperson who is paid on commission.

What works today? Try these seven things on:

  1. Understand that buyers have changed. If you are using the same techniques your father did, you are probably on the wrong track.
  2. Only focus on the people who are predisposed to buying your product or service. Leave the rest to those who want to risk their arms and legs wrestling alligators.
  3. Find someone who can introduce you to these ideal prospects. These new prospects don’t know you so they won’t take your call or email unless you come recommended by someone they trust.
  4. Make sure your electronic profile matches you. Your LinkedIn profile and your website should be in harmony. You are going to be checked out by your prospect so prepare for it.
  5. Know your customer. If you can see the world through your prospect’s eyes you will know what your prospect buys.
  6. Leave the canned pitch in the can. Relate to this prospect as a person not a mountain to be conquered.
  7. Make sure all your selling initiatives are integrated. Too often, we sabotage our mission with conflicting sales strategies. Use Integrated Social Selling to get on track and keep on track.

Concentrate on finding not only a horse but also the right horse. Climb up on a duck and it just might be a whole different experience for you, and the duck is not going to be too happy either.

Author: Rich Lucia

What Happens In Your Home Should Stay In Your Home

I always found it a bit ironic that salespeople rank the highest in not wanting to be annoyed by telemarketers calling their homes. “Don’t they realize it’s dinnertime and, no I don’t need carpeting or draperies? Who would buy something over the phone anyway? I don’t even know these people.”

Yet 14 hours later, following direction from their sales manager, they plow through lists of strangers calling them cold, hoping they feel differently about the interruption.

It is unfortunate that we have to encounter this torture in our own homes but to take it to our workplace and duplicate the madness makes no sense. Better it should stay in the home. Integrated Social Selling puts practices like this to the test and makes sure that as we pursue business, our initiatives are congruent with our mission.

Author: Rich Lucia