relaEarly morning my cell phone rang and the person on the other side asked “Sir have you heard of Carbon Trading?”   And my response was Yes and NOT INTERESTED.   At around 10:00am my cell phone rang again and the caller on the other said “Sir are you “TITLE” of the company; you have free invitation to the gala opening of our office.”   And I responded not interested.

My sincere advice to Sales professional reading this blog post would be “Change your tactics and QUIT COLD CALLING.”  And bring your focus on sharpening skills in 3xR’s.  RELATIONSHIPS through REFERRALS and RECOMMENDATIONS.  

Your next statement would be “Show me the way.”    My response would be sign up for LinkedIn and if you are already on board, good luck.   To begin with what are the BIGGEST challenges for sales professionals? 

  1. Finding the list of companies to call.
  2. Finding the right person to call on in the companies.
  3. Building relationship or finding a common link between you and your prospect to connect. Objective is to ensure you first call is reciprocated.

LinkedIn provides you the LIST OF COMPANIES, list of RIGHT PEOPLE and a RELATIONSHIP PIPE for first prospect call. Let’s explore how? 

  1. Let’s assume you want to call on HP Sales Director in UAE.  Click on INTEREST and from drop down menu click COMPANY then COMPANY SEARCH tab followed by Advanced under Search Tab.  The system will throw up search criteria’s hence search on Title: Sales Director; Company: HP and Location: United Arab Emirates and LinkedIn throws up the name /names of Sales Director in HP in UAE.  Problem resolved
  2. Second tip to find list of prospects is – let’s assume you want to find names of  all Sales Director in Dubai.  In advance search just enter  Tile: Sales Director; Location: UAE and systems throws up list of Sales Directors in UAE.
  3. Third tip is to explore your friend’s connections list and run search on them.  If you find likely prospect list; request your friend for referral or introduction.
  4. Fourth Tip is to explore your customer’s connections and run search on them for Sales Director. And then request your customers for recommendation verbal or in writing to monetize.
  5. Fifth Tip; you can also search for companies in similar line of business as your customer.  This is your company list to call on.
  6. Final tip; build your network through LinkedIn, Facebook and participating in Seminars, Forums and Events.

LinkedIn is a powerful professional Network platform with over 235 Million professionals and there are over 3 Million company pages advertising their product and services. Research says that Referrals and Recommendations are 10 times more powerful than cold calling.  So why not sharpen your skills on LinkedIn and monetize your leads faster, better and higher.