Social media and online networking are powerful ways to expand your reach (and we’re huge proponents for it!), but there does come a time when you need a face-to-face meeting to close a sale. Why? Because not everyone is going to be willing to sign a proposal or buy a product from someone who exists solely in a digital space.
So when you find yourself with a growing online network (but no real prospects), it’s time to take your online efforts offline and give your expertise a face and a voice. Here are a three ways you can get out from behind the computer and into the real world with potential leads.
If you have compelling training material you’re using online (like a webinar, eBook, etc.), you can transform those into educational material for an in-person training or speaking session that allow you to establish yourself as a physical presence. When people can attach a name and a face to your personal brand, you help build a stronger connection with those you’ve started the conversation with through online networking.
Hang around after the event is over and see how many people you can exchange cards with to find out which attendees are your most qualified sales leads.
Facilitate a Gathering
Facilitating a meeting for like-minded professionals is a great way to get up-close and personal with the people you’d like to grow relationships with.
- Brainstorming sessions
- Industry chats
- Grabbing a cup of coffee together
During your time together, you can get a better idea of the struggles your connections are facing. As the leader of the group, you can step in to offer your experience and further establish yourself as someone who can help them address their problems. Plus, you might find some excellent referral partners in the process.
After your gathering, follow up and see how you can continue to help your new friends, and maybe schedule a one-on-one meeting with those who have an immediate need.
Use Your Phone
Sure, you could type out an email, but it’s much more time efficient (and often more personable) to just pick up the phone and call the person you’ve been meaning to reach out to online. It’s fairly easy to locate their business phone number, so take a few minutes to say hello and ask if you can help with the problem you know he/she is facing. But don’t bother leaving a voicemail (voicemail is dead.)
You don’t have to have a sales pitch, a script, or a gimmick. Just be yourself and talk about how your online connection has lead to this conversation. Is everyone going to go for it? No. But some might be elated that you’ve presented yourself to solve their problems.
Taking your online networking to an offline setting can be extremely effective when you put in the effort to do it well.
Have you found this to be true in your experience? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.