What am I talking about?
Turning your virtual LinkedIn and Social Media contacts into real-world conversations.
Maybe you are like me and have hundreds, maybe thousands of LinkedIn contacts in your network?
Maybe the same goes for your Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ accounts?
Whatever the case may be, and as unorthodox as it may sound, you do have the choice of being able to pick up the phone and start responding to messages you see on social media platforms, and especially right here on LinkedIn.
“I can’t do that Stewart! Cold calling is just not my thing.”
If that was your first thought, don’t worry, that’s what I thought too… well, at least, initially.
You see, there’s a wide gap between cold calling and using your phone to talk to someone about something they just posted online. The dynamics are at opposite ends of the scale.
Let me explain.
Let’s say you are a Coach, a Trainer or a Public Speaker looking to get hired for your next project.
Now imagine cold calling one of your LinkedIn contacts to speak about how your latest whizz-bang presentation methods can increase employee productivity by 53.4% in 7 days, versus calling the same contact to thank them for their most recent LinkedIn blog article.
Imagine calling them to share some of the biggest takeaways you experienced from reading their latest update.
Or, picture making a call to show your appreciation for the endorsements they made on your profile?
Completely different dynamic right?
Instead of being annoyed, they will most likely be delighted to hear from you because the last time I checked, most people love a genuine compliment and even more so, appreciate being recognized for their efforts.
Think about it.
What could come out of such real-world conversations?
What could happen if you every now and then, choose a handful of your contacts and made the effort to connect your virtual and real world by means of a genuine phone call?
Here’s what I think.
I think you will be pleasantly surprised by what happens when you demonstrate how much you care about people’s personal and business lives.
You will strengthen your relationships far beyond anything you could achieve through traditional methods of online communication.
Don’t get me wrong, there is certainly a place for leveraging online communication platforms. That alongside phone calls is a perfect combination, so don’t discount using the two to build a database full of people you actually know, as they compliment each other perfectly.
With that said, what are some of the best scenarios that warrant you reaching for your phone and making that relationship building call?
I’ve listed a few of them below. If you can think of any more, then add them in your comments below.
1) Call Your Connection Requests
You receive a connection request from someone you don’t know, but they appear to be a potentially good contact.
What do you do?
Well, before accepting, (obviously if you receive many connection requests you will have to be strategic about this), give them a call, thank them for their request, and ask them their reason for wanting to connect?
This can sometimes lead to very interesting conversations, and now makes that contact a real person, as opposed to just another virtual number.
2) Call Your New Connections
Now and again, whenever someone joins your network, call them, thank them for joining and let them know you are there to help with making connections to professionals within your network.
Find out what kind of referrals they are looking for, and if they need referrals from within your network, let them know it’s okay to ask.
These phone calls alone will bridge the gap between your real life and virtual life, setting the tone for long term working relationships.
3) Offer Your Help on the Phone
You’re on Facebook, Twitter, or even here on LinkedIn and one of your friends, followers, contacts have publicly asked for help with an issue surrounding something you know and have a passion around doing. As an alternative to posting a virtual answer, find their number (Google is great for that), and give them a call. You are sure to receive a positive response.
So now you have a few insights into how to humanize your virtual LinkedIn contacts. You now know how to connect your LinkedIn and Social Media contacts with your real offline life.
If you got something from this post, then you reach out and let me know, I’d love to hear your thoughts.