Opening Doors & Closing Business Deals Online
Social networking sites that emphasize business offer powerful tools for finding new customers, recruiting new employees, generating interest in your business proposition and even finding a new business partner. You can search for new contacts based on their business, location, interests, experience or even their past employment. I have often started dialogue with some people through their blogs and articles. When somebody writes something interesting I often click on their profile to find out more about the writer. Sometimes I send a private message and if they reply then we are now connected. A real relationship is more than just about one message sent and one received online.
Real relationships form when several messages have been exchanged and either a phone call or a meeting follows to start discussing potential avenues of business. I believe in the theory of random connections so I do not only connect with people that are obviously in the same line of business. I try to connect with people from all walks of life if I find that we have something in common whether it is a liking for the same type of music or even a common interest in some topical issues. If I have not had the time to pick up the phone and give you a call, and you would like to discuss something, do not hesitate to call me. I promise I do not bite and you never know what the initial call might lead to.
Doing business on social networking sites is also about how well you can manage your profile; connect it to your marketing and your articles and blogs. You do not need to be an expert writer though. What is important is the ability to express in words the thoughts that are on your mind. One word of warning here; it can be very easy for somebody to misinterpret what you are trying to communicate online so clear up any confusion immediately and do not allow it to fester. Unfortunately many people new to business networking approach it completely the wrong way. They are very antisocial, just thinking about me, me & what's in it for me. The more established members of these sites see people like this all the time. They come in like a firework and soon explode and their light fades until they are a distant memory. People join social business networking site for a variety of reasons but one of the main ones is to advertise their wares to you. They did not join to receive your advertisements! Bear this in mind in all your blogs, articles and messages.
Generate interest in your business proposition so that others are compelled to ask what you do. At this point you can feel free to give them your marketing spiel but keep it short the first time. Summary Open the Door - write interesting blogs / articles, read other peoples profiles, get in touch via private message when you find that you have something in common and then after a couple of exchanges pick up the phone to start real discussions. Doing Business Online - Do not wade in with your marketing spiel but arouse interest and when the other party asks what you do, keep it short but informative. This way you will generate trust and you will be one step closer to: Closing the Deal - Many smaller transactions can be done via the phone & email but a meeting is often required to close a larger deal.
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