As a business owner and one of the salespeople for my company, I am busy. Just like you, I have to run my business and sell, and it doesn’t seem like I can get it all done. We all need to juggle many priorities, and one of the most important is lead generation. We have to be sure that among all the other work we do, we keep the leads flowing. The minute we stop, it’s disastrous.
Never Stop Prospecting
We have to get connected and stay connected with clients. We need to keep them happy so we can grow their account and get them to refer us. We have to build relationships with prospects. We have to stay in touch with the people who can give us strategic introductions to prospects. It’s a lot to do. We can spend a lot of time on the phone, sending emails, and attending events and I do but for me, one of the most productive ways to interact with people is online.
Be More Productive
We all have the same 24 hours to prioritize, plan, schedule and get the important things done. In person, at a networking event, I can only effectively connect and have conversations with about five new people. In an hour on the phone, I might be able to have a meaningful conversation with two to four people. For me, networking online can be so much more efficient and just as effective. That’s where LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat work best. In one hour, I can connect with at least twenty people in a variety of different ways.
I know you think you don’t have an hour every day for social media, and you may see it as a time suck. Think about it instead as a necessary business activity. It’s a way to learn about the people and the brands you need to know.
It’s About Routine
You have to be very organized to use social media for business, just like you are when you use the phone or email for prospecting. Here’s how you can do it.
- Schedule time on your calendar
- Have your list of customers and prospects ready
- Know which platforms they spend time on
- Know what is important to them
- Interact with them
Right now you may not feel like you have an hour a day to spend on this, but once you start getting results, you may find that an hour isn’t enough.
For now, I know you can start with 15 minutes a day. Here are a few things you can do in just 15 minutes. Choose one or two of these things to do daily.
15 Minutes a Day Goes a Long Way
- Post an activity: Share an upcoming event, a quote, a photo or a link to an article. The content can be from your company, one of your clients or industry related.
- Click like, comment or share: Look through the activity feed and see what others are up to and click like, comment or share. Have your list of customers and prospects handy and be sure to look to see what their companies have posted. See what individuals you follow have posted so you can interact. You can probably do twenty or so a day. This works on every platform. Some have a like feature, and some have a heart. It’s just a quick way to keep in touch.
- Check LinkedIn and Facebook groups: If you are in groups with your customers and prospects, check those groups to see what activity is important. Find people to connect with there. Share an interesting article, video or idea.
- Check messages: Respond to messages from customers and prospects and leave the rest for another day if you run out of time. If they are spammy sales messages, delete them and maybe disconnect from that person.
- Accept Invites: Look to see who wants to connect and research before you reject. If you don’t know the person, read their profile, see what they post and check their website. If they could be a prospect or referral source accept the connection. Then send them a message to get a conversation started. Only connect to people you are willing to develop a business relationship with; otherwise, there is no point. (There are some who will disagree with me on this point.) It’s quality, not quantity that matters.
- Send connection requests or follow: Be sure you are connected to or following your coworkers, former coworkers, clients, colleagues, and classmates. If you meet people at events, find them online and follow or connect with them.
- Send a private message: Find key people you want to interact with and send them a quick note, a link to an article or an event they will find interesting. You can do this on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Snapchat. The private message is for people you are already connected with.
Those are some things you can do in 15 minutes. These are all easy to do from a mobile device.
Schedule time on your calendar stay in touch with customers and prospects and use these platforms to learn, research and stay current.
I don’t do all of these activities every time I get on the internet, but throughout the week, I will do all of them.
For me doing this has paid off in several ways:
- I get business this way. I build relationships that lead to conversations that lead to sales.
- The people I am connected with get to know me, like me, trust me. They are willing to make an introduction when I ask or respond when I reach out to them.
- I have gotten to know people who I probably never would have otherwise, and some of them have become clients or referred prospects to me.
- I have been able to help my clients and friends with valuable contacts that have given them information, employees, resources, and jobs.