This afternoon I got a contact request on LinkedIn. I took a quick look at the users profile and it looked legit enough, even though I only had 1 contact in common. I don’t sensor my LinkedIn contacts to the same degree as I would me Facebook or Instagram, as there is nothing majorly private or sensitive on LinkedIn. However what happened next ensured I would never do business with this person.
About 30 seconds after accepting the link request, I was greeted with an inbox message the said the following
Good Afternoon David, I wanted to see if you are planning to review any of your hosting this year at all? Kind Regards ,,,,,,
This form of marketing is the coldest of cold marketing. I would equate it to being out for a meal and some random guy coming up to be and shoving a business card for his plumbing services underneath my bowl of soup patting me on the back and walking away…. there is a time, a place and a method!
In the same way that the plumber has no idea that I have a leaky tap, the guy on LinkedIn had no idea if I knew what hosting was never mind needed it.
The best way to meet clients online and get business online is to build a relationship, it can be done over time, not all at once. Here is a few tips to building a relationship online.
- Identify your targets, make sure they have a need for your business, there is no point in trying to sell gold to someone struggling to pay their rent.
- Listen to what they are saying online, watch what they are saying or sharing.
- Interact with them, social media has two words the first being the most important, SOCIAL.
- Find common interests, hobbies, contacts, leverage these to your advantage.
- Be Authentic, if you are going to ask how I am doing be prepared that I could have just had an awful day!
- Be a problem solver, and don’t be afraid to do it for nothing, within reason, if someone asks a question online don’t be afraid to answer it, use the web to showcase your knowledge.
- Remember People do business with People, so make it personal.