Michelle Quillen, of New England Multimedia, challenged her friends and contacts to use Linked-In more.  She started a group for that purpose on Linked-In. It’s been suggested that I make better use of the Linked-In questions feature.  I wanted to know how Linked-In could replace cold calling.

My question was “How do you use LinkedIn to effectively find and engage the decision maker in an organization, and lead to a closed sale in a relatively short time?” Here is a sample of the answers:

Patrick Hollister, who is a B2B Sales Professional, had this reply:
“This is NOT Rocket science, despite what others think. You target a company, you locate names, tittles and learn something about the individual you are about to call, then you create a specific value proposition for that company and you start calling.
Dialing blind is a huge waste of time.
The sales process starts before you hit the on button on your computer Brad by first figuring out why a company would want to buy from you in the first place.”

Scott Howard, of ScLoHo Marketing Solutions and Summit City Radio Group, said, “When I was looking for the person in charge of advertising & marketing for a regional big box store that was opening in Fort Wayne a couple years ago, I did a LinkedIn search and found the person I needed to talk to.

I got through to his direct line and he directed me to the right person at the advertising agency that I should talk to. As I presented our stations, I included him in the emails and also thanked him as we began the advertising program”

Kathi Browne, suggested this,

“No matter what transaction you are after (a sale, a job, advice, another connection), you have to become visible, relevant, and authentic.

1. I start by checking a person’s profile to see what groups they are in and what questions they have posted. I particpate in those places where I can show my value and expertise.

2. I also look at other places where I can connect with them and learn what is important to them. I follow them on Twitter, check out their blog (and may make comments), and also observe.

3. I seek out opportunities to connect on a personal level and find out what needs they have that I can help with. Sometimes the need has nothing to do with work because being authentic is about being 3-D.

4. I wait for the person to respond in kind and then the relationship has formed.

You may think that is a lot of work for one connection, but a solid and genuine connection will bring others to you.”

I’ll keep the question open here……