I know in the old days we did business differently, it was all face to face meetings, smile and dial telesales teams calling their regular clients to place orders, doing business with people we knew and met many times, out on the golf course or over lunch with a couple of bottles of wine.
And how different business is now!! Its so much more about who knows of you and how widely those connections stretch, than just the immediate circle of contacts you are known to personally. Success in business can be acheived through this wider network of acquaintances but you have to observe a few basic rules as polite behaviour and good manners are just as relevent in the virtual, social media world as it is in the real world.
I want to share some examples with you regarding Linkedin and making new contacts. Linkedin.com is a fantastic, realtime channel for staying touch with business contacts, even when they move companies, seeing their connections to other comapnies and people, seeing recommendations for prospect employees as well as sharing postive recommendations for yourself. Its the one stop shop to mange and promote you, your personal brand for every aspect of your career.
So why do some people forget basic manners on Linkedin? Why does a gardener in the local area want to connect with me......... we had no shared connections that I could see, may be there was a good reason they knew about, but I certainly didn't. So I had to assume they were just spamming contacts in the area, I blocked them and I'm sure so did others.
Rule one - WHENEVER you want to connect to a new contact ALWAYS write a personal greeting to them, suggesting a meeting, following up from a meeting, sharing a report you know they are looking for or just mentioning the connection and the reason why you'd like to stay in touch.
Rule Two - never get in touch with someone haven't met personally UNLESS you explain the reason to connect in your personalised message. eg 'xxxx suggested I get in touch as I need a new accountant and you've been recommended to me....'
I am often contacted by people I know of but haven't met and you'd think that would present the perfect opportunity to arrange a meeting, put a name to the face and create the face to face meeting. But no, its not always the case leading to:-
Rule Three - If someone wants to get connected with you, you can Reply with out accepting the request. Use that email to ask then for a meeting, to meet for a coffee, ask them to drop into your office. After all do you want to accept a connection and open up all your valuable Linkedin contacts to someone who can't even be bothered to meet you?
Try to avoid the serial contact collectors who just want to get as many contacts as possible with the highly likely outcome that they will cold call / email you with offers that are of no interest to you........even worse, they raid your contacts for even more connections to add to their trophy cabinet!
You may have noticed a link in an earlier paragraph, it links to my profile. If you like what you've read and think we should be connected than do send an invitation but PLEASE, follow all of the above suggestion. I promise they will make a difference to your success in business. Thanks!! Or email me at Barnstaple@thebestof.co.uk
Member since: 10th July 2012
I'm Sarah and I live just outside Barnstaple near Umberleigh.
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