|May 4, 2023||Comments Closed|
Imagine approaching one of your clients and asking him whether you could spend some time alone looking through the personal contacts on his computer and then ask him questions about the people you’d like to learn more about. In the past, this was not possible, and it was certainly unacceptable.
Now, however, through social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn, this information is readily available and easy to access.
The fundamentals of marketing financial services are the same as they have been for over 50 years and they’ll probably be the same in 50 years from now. If you are to succeed in the industry, you must meet people and build a relationship. Top professionals have always done this and will continue to do it.
Although the fundamentals have not changed, the methods of executing the fundamentals effectively to market yourself certainly have.
Past methods included mail campaigns, cold calling and telephone contact; they are not as effective and relatively expensive in today’s market .
Technology has drastically improved all industries, including financial services. The use of social media sites, such as LinkedIn, is one aspect of technology that has enhanced professionals’ ability to market themselves effectively and efficiently.
Social media works on the concept of ‘six degrees of separation’. That means any one person is linked with any other person, with no more than six people in between. That’s the way top professionals have built their business – using these links, asking for referrals and getting introductions.
LinkedIn is the most powerful social media tool for establishing business connections. Sadly, many professionals don’t use it properly. When used well, LinkedIn will help you gain access to people you don’t know and increase the number of people you do know.
Build and expand your network
Generate referral leads
Develop prospect relationships
Find new opportunities
Turn cold calls into warm contacts.
I’m a frequent user of LinkedIn. I currently have more than 1,000 people with whom I’m directly connected. Through those 1,000 people, I have access to all of their connections, which means, within just two degrees of separation, I have access to over 500,000 individuals and many prospects. It’s not only a question of volume; it’s also about how easy it is to gain access to new contacts.
Basically, it’s the equivalent of flicking through a client’s address book.
Here’s how you can get the most from LinkedIn:
Establish an account. This is free. I recommend using your business email address if business development is your primary focus
Create your profile. There’s a wizard to guide you. Create an interesting headline and use a professional photo
Build your network. Begin by importing your existing contacts, then enter names of clients, prospects, targets of opportunity. Don’t forget to use names on old business cards and always invite people you meet when networking.
Using these methods, you can easily build your LinkedIn connections to 250. This gives you the critical mass to take advantage of LinkedIn resources. Once you are connected with these people, you will have access to their connections – in other words, 30,000 connections through two degrees of separation.
When you’ve identified some people you would like your primary connection to introduce you to, approach your connection and ask for an introduction.
Spend just 15-30 minutes per day building and expanding your network and you will be rewarded with an overflowing sales pipeline filled with qualified prospective clients.
Along with asking for referrals, developing centres of influences and cross-selling, LinkedIn is another powerful tool you should include in your business development tool kit.