Thursday, 16 December 2010

Sales wikileaks? Linked In for sales Part 2

"Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive!" *

Whether the author and poet Sir Walter Scott had the sort of Wikileaks taboo in mind or not, I guess that has been the story of this month.

Business Social Networks and associated correspondence on email are part of our sales lives now but maybe we should be careful not to be deceived or unintentionally deceive in our LnkedIn presence. What we commit to social media could become the Business Wikileaks of tomorrow! Point 9 (below) comes to mind.

This is the second of three posts about LinkedIn and sales which are based on Paul Castain’s article 21 Ways. We looked at 1-7 in the previous post on this topic

8) Show appreciation for those who contribute to your discussions.
First, you should always thank people publicly. We all appreciate being acknowledged in front of our peers. Acknowledging contributions encourages additional contributions and can encourage those following you to other discussions and groups.

Another way to show your appreciation is by sending a “Thank you" email. It’s a great networking opener and helps you differentiate from your competition!

9) Avoid attacking someone online in front of thousands. In a word DON’T! You can’t change stupid people and you will damage your brand in the process.

Tip: Keep in mind your what you want to be known for.

10) Use a hyperlink in your signature when you contribute to a discussion. If all you do is put the old “www” in it won’t read as a link (you won’t be able to click on that more information) Paul Castain suggests we put a http:// in front of your domain !

Caution: Be careful with this one! It borders on self-promotion. Some people really get carried away.

11) Don’t use the automated invites. Take a moment and make your invite personal! Plenty of "You Appeal" ( You..., Your,... you'll... etc.)

First impressions are inportant as is the power of being memorable.

Link back to something you have observed about them in the groups, a point they made, their company, some common ground or simply:

Dear Caspar:

I would be honoured if you would join my network! It grabs their attention.

12) Should you receive a lame invite try and remain courteous.

13) Start your own group! It enables you to be lead and be seen as a subject matter specialist.

Paul Castain waited until he had enough involvement in the groups and started his Sales Playbook Group. It’s grown by more than 16,000 members and it has dramatically enhanced his brand. He also is happy to say it has enhanced the brand of others as well. The law of reciprocity does work.

14) Add value to your network! One of the best ways you can do this is to become a connector to your network! Introduce people who need to know each other.

With so many people between jobs, looking for first jobs after University etc. in these challenging times keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities.

Consider having a recruitment /HR specialist or three in your network.

Rather than gathering followers, create evangelists to cascade the good news of your brand!

Tip: Third party reference is your best salesperson.

I started this blog post with such a cautious quote of Walter Scott's, maybe I should finish on a more courageous note from a similar period.

When news came that the courtesan Harriette Wilson was threatening to publish her memoirs and his letters, Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington (1769-1853), is reputed to have said “Publish and be damned!” .
Maybe the Wikileaks syndrome is not so new after all!!

* Sir Walter Scott 1771-1832 Marmon Canto v1 Stanza 17

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