Whether you are an entry level or seasoned sales professional, it’s likely you have to make connections with people you have never met before. If you’re like me, I have a much easier time initiating a call or crafting an email introduction when I know more than just a first name or the title of their role at the company. Even when I’m working off some sort of prospect list, I research the company or person online first. Those in sales know a warm call has a much higher success rate than a cold one. I would go so far to say ‘cold call’ is going to be a phrase of the past given all the online tools we have available today!
One of the quickest ways to warm up a cold call is to research your target market (both people and companies) using LinkedIn. Dig in and see what you can find about the person’s background, where they are from, where they were educated, what content they are ‘liking’, and who else are they connected to. Find a commonality to help break the ice. Give them the impression you did your due diligence rather than sound like a telemarketer.
With respect to company research, at the very least link to their website and make sure they are in your target market. Read what they are blogging about, take note of their products and services and talk about what you know about the company with the person you are communicating with. Then follow the company especially if after the call there is a potential fit to do business.
I already wrote about why I love this tool and since then I continue to see compelling exponential growth statistics such as these:
•LinkedIn has more than doubled in size (OVER 160 million Members) in the past year with one user added every single second!
•Executives from ALL Fortune 500 Companies are registered on LinkedIn!
•45% of LinkedIn’s members are considered the major decision makers for their companies. (Twitter and Facebook account for only 24-29%!)
•LinkedIn holds the record for the Highest Average Household Income over all other Social Networking sites at over $109,000 per member!
•There are no distractions! On LinkedIn, you’ll only find high-caliber individuals with a business mindset, focused on networking for results!
•With the IPO of LinkedIn, it is now valued at over 10 Billion Dollars and interest and awareness are at an all-time high.
***LinkedIn Statistics source: http://www.linkedinfluence.com/?hop=aldrich1