3 Ways to Get More Leads and Sales with Social Networking and Referral Marketing

By Joanne Black

Referral selling uses powerful networksThe Internet, social networking, and other breakthroughs in technology have fundamentally changed the way we do business. New technology drives communications, messaging, and information access at warp speed, and our clients expect immediate access. This pattern of ever-increasing speed and sophistication not only creates an intensely competitive marketplace, but places further demands on us to act and react quickly.

However, people do business with people—not with technology. Don’t get glued to your computer and believe that you can email, Tweet, ask questions on LinkedIn, and the sales process ends there. Social media is a fantastic resource for finding out who people are, who they know, and how you’re connected. Then, you must pick up the phone and have a personal conversation.

3 Ways to Get More Leads and Sales with Social Networking and Referral Marketing

  1. Develop a social media strategy: Like a sales plan or a marketing plan, write your social media plan. What is your goal? Who is your audience? What do you want to communicate? Leverage social media as part of your go-to-market strategy. How does your strategy link to your customer’s needs and your business priorities?
  2. Establish relationships: Take the time to build your personal connections, pick up the phone and talk to people.  Just because you have a name in hand, doesn’t mean you have a relationship.
  3. Communicate useful information: Social sites are not for selling. They are for establishing connections, identifying ways to collaborate, and providing value. What tips can you provide? Link to other sites you strongly recommend. Get recognized as the expert and build your web presence. Be a resource.

In an era dominated by ever-expanding technology and social media pressures, always remember that personal connections, referrals, and earning trust count most.