Posted by: drewdice | November 7, 2009

Your Serve

Often times, I approach these posts by sharing my points of view and thoughts on topics. For this one, we are going to take a different approach: Here is a quick tale about a recent sales and networking experience I had. I’m not going to follow the story with my thoughts, and would like to hear yours (as well as any anecdotes you feel compelled to share)

I received a message from an individual who was, at that point, unkown to me. In his message, he mentioned that he found me on Linkedin through a mutual connection, was curious to learn more about my business, and wanted to see if there were ways we could help each other.

I like sales people. I’ve grown up in my career helping sales professionals improve performance, refine skills and fulfill their goals. I called him back.

When I called him back, I discovered that he did not know the person through whom we have a mutual connection, but briefly met him at a networking event, and exchanged business cards. Following the event, my caller surfed Linkedin to uncover mutual connections, and hit the phones to see what he could accomplish.

I asked how I could help him, and he told me what his firm does, and that he wanted to know if I could help him directly or by facilitating an introduction to people at my firm. I told him more about what we do, and what information I would need from him before I would feel comfortable talking about an introduction.

Happily, he thanked me, told me he would get back to me with the information, and the call ended.

Please share your thoughts about the interaction.

Cheers,

Andrew

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Responses

  1. How did you feel, Andrew, when you discovered that the individual had connected with you through not so direct LinkedIn means as he implied?

    If he does call you back with the information you requested what will you do?

    Cheers,
    Harsha

    • Harsha,

      Thanks for your reply. I understand what my caller was trying to accomplish by using Linkedin, and also feel that he needs help, coaching and some mentoring in the “do’s” and “don’ts” of social networking, as well as how the improper use of tools like Linkedin can actually severly hamper short and long term sales results.

      I have no intention of helping this person with connections within my firm, as I do not believe that he understands how to build truly meaningful and reciprocal relationships. If he does call me back, which I doubt he will, I will share my thoughts with him about why I will not offer the help he desires.

      Building relationships and selling through social media has the same basic truths and principles that existed before these new tools emerged. Sales professionals who “get it”, still find themselves in the top 20%. No surprises there.

  2. Sounds like this gentleman took the “social” out of social media when he used LinkedIn as a pretense for an introduction without actually knowing the mutual connection.

  3. So? It’s been about 7 weeks now. Did he call back? 😉

    • Rob,

      Thanks for checking in. He called one time, and left a very long, detailed message. My interpretation from the message was that we was trying to influence me to take action through the message, which did not work. You know my theory on messages: shorter is better. He lost me at hello.

      I did not call him back, and he has not reached out since. I’ve got to say that all things considered, if he showed some persistence, I’d have taken his call, but one message and done? Really? There is so much competition in his industry. That is no way to set yourself apart. What a shame.


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