It has been a great week here at The Phone Lady. In fact, I’ve been a wee bit giddy as I’ve pushed against some perceived boundaries and learned something many of you may already know – when you push against boundaries, you discover new territory.
How exciting is that!
I’ve been working to fill the last few seats in my workshop with Peter Skakum (Exceed Your Quota on Wednesday October 3). This is a powerful sales workshop and I wanted to get information out to a wider range of sales managers.
I turned my attention to LinkedIn – and I lucked out! Here’s what I did:
1) I went through all my LinkedIn contacts (obvious, right?) and if someone was in sales management, and had their work email address listed, I sent them a brief personal email with everything they needed to know about the workshop. Success was almost immediate – three registrations in 48 hours.
2) For those contacts that did not have a work email listed, I called them. Whether I spoke to them or left voicemail, I referred to our LinkedIn connection and said I was sending them workshop information. The result? Two more registrations as well as a discussion about a custom workshop.
3) For LinkedIn contacts in sales, but not in management, I phoned their head offices and spoke with sales managers, VPs of sales, etc. I was a bit nervous about this approach. Was this a boundary I shouldn’t cross? But starting the call with “I’m calling you today because I’m connected to a member of your team on LinkedIn and …” worked beautifully. Detailed conversations developed very quickly and while the verdict is still out on the success of this approach for the October workshop, it’s a fabulous way to raise my profile.
4) I used LinkedIn’s “Advanced Search” (I’m a big fan of this function – delivers valuable information in seconds). By searching HRM with the keyword “sales” and asking for 2nd level connections only, I was able to phone qualified prospects and introduce myself with the statement “I’m calling you today because we have several contacts in common in LinkedIn and …”. This also inspired great conversations, and several times I was able to add the person to my LinkedIn network while we were talking. Amazing!
What makes this work all the more astonishing for me is that, in 1989 when I owned my first company, Media Link, we actually had a full-time researcher that found these types of connections for us – by reading every possible national magazine and newspaper as well as constantly listening to the radio. It would have taken months, if not an entire year, for her to have uncovered the number of contacts I can find through LinkedIn in minutes.
There’s one more thing – and it is connected to how I started the week, at Atlantica Hotel Halifax (http://www.atlanticahotelhalifax.com) listening to the irreverent, funny, incredibly smart and savvy Scott Stratten. A young, energetic marketing dynamo from Toronto, he put Halifax first on his current book tour because of the persistence and insistence of The Group (http://thegrouphalifax.com). If you haven’t discovered Scott yet, check out his website: http://www.unmarketing.com.
Of the many valuable ideas Scott shared, one has been simmering in my mind all week. It relates to the impact we have on our “3rd circle”. Reaching your 3rd circle is a measurement of success in social media. For example, on Twitter, your 1st circle is the people who follow you. When they retweet your message to their followers, you are reaching your 2nd circle. And when they retweet your message – voila – you’ve reached your 3rd circle.
Well, on LinkedIn, I can use Advanced Search to find my 3rd circle and I can reach them with my phone. And that’s exactly what I’m going to be doing this week. I’m not sure how I’ll start the conversations. Probably something like “I’m calling you today because you are in my 3rd circle on LinkedIn and … .”
So – more new territory to discover and I’ll certainly let you know what I find. Stay tuned!
In the meantime, if sales and building a business is part of your job, do consider joining Peter and I on Wednesday October 3 for Exceed Your Quota. It is an incredibly powerful workshop and gives you the skills to close more sales in less time. Detailed information and registration here: http://www.thephonelady.ca/registration/
One Last Thought:
“Not now doesn’t mean not ever.” Majora Carter, Environmentalist, quoting one of her mentors