When it comes to maximizing business sales, you have to use every tool in your repertoire. That oftentimes means leveraging personal connections to acquire new leads, lock down sales, and maintain long-term, positive relationships with your clients or customers.
Indeed, the best salespeople know exactly how to use their personal connections to get new sales leads and to secure purchases for their companies. Of course, that strategy is much easier said than done! Below, you’ll find out how to maximize your personal connections for sales leads. Master these tactics, and you’ll wow your boss in more ways than one.
Do a Great Job
The first and most important principle to remember is quality of service. “Even if you have dozens of excellent personal connections and potential sales leads, those connections won’t mean anything if you don’t do a great job with each and every client on your list,” says Stephen Skeel, Co-Founder and Executive Producer at 7 Wonders Cinema.
As a salesperson, that means:
- Connecting your clients or leads with the products and services that work best for them
- Securing deals or budgets that work for your clients
- Doing everything you can to make sure the sales process goes smoothly for your clients and leads
When you do a great job, your leads will be more likely to recommend you to their friends and coworkers, which is in itself a major source of future sales leads. Furthermore, you cultivate an excellent reputation by prioritizing quality of service in every interaction you have.
Bottom line: don’t worry about maximizing your personal connections or acquiring new sales leads until you have your sales system down perfectly and you know how to provide the ultimate level of service to every client you acquire.
Every Lead Counts – Especially in the Beginning
This is especially important in the earliest days of your sales career. Gabriel de la Serna, CEO and Founder of Onpost says, “In the beginning, you won’t have a reputation one way or the other, so potential leads won’t know what to think of you. Furthermore, you won’t have a very large list of potential leads since your personal connections have yet to grow.”
Therefore, doing as good a job as possible with every lead on your list is crucial in the earliest months and years of your career. Every lead counts in this stage, so do your best to provide the best service to your leads. In time, you’ll garner a positive reputation and see the rewards start to come in.
Give Out Business Cards
As noted above, many of the best sales leads come not from your personal connections but from the connections those leads have with other people. “For example, if you sell a product to a business owner and they are satisfied, they might spread the word of your company or you personally to fellow business owners, friends, and family members,” says Brittany Dolin, Co-Founder of Pocketbook Agency.
But it’s tough to remember a person’s contact information, even if they get you a great deal on a product or service. To that end, you should hand out business cards at every opportunity.
“Your business card design should be streamlined, straightforward, and to the point,” says Justin Olson, Chief Marketing Officer at Fast Pace Health. “It should include your name, your contact information, and the company you work for if applicable. Print out thousands of these business cards, and plan to hand them out as often as you can.”
You should hand out business cards to:
- Satisfied leads or customers you’ve already served
- People you meet who you think you may be able to provide value to
- Others in your industry, like work acquaintances or friends
Business cards are invaluable networking tools, and they are a little old-fashioned. But this old-fashioned nature is advantageous in the digital age. Business cards are something to feel, something real. They’re not as forgettable as digital contact information or a contact email sent by someone a lead doesn’t know.
Post on Social Media
Social media is important for both business and personal marketing these days. Therefore, you should post regularly on social media to maximize your personal connections and garner new sales leads.
Your personal connections, ranging from your old high school friends to your current business coworkers to your family members, are likely all connected to you on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. “It’s easy to see how these platforms are natural networking opportunities waiting to be taken advantage of,” says Charles Tichenor IV, Founder of Disrupter School.
By posting on social media, your connections and friends will see your business activity. For example, if you are a freelancer looking to acquire new clients, you can put out the word on your social media page. Then, anyone who is already friends with you will see the opportunity and may be inspired to contact you.
Posting regularly on social media is wise anyway. As more people see you active on social media platforms, they’ll be more likely to remember you when they require your services. “Regularity often breeds familiarity, and people are more likely to request the services of people they are familiar with, even if it’s only on social media,” says Tony Staehelin, CEO of Benable.
Make Friends on Social Media Often
To maximize this tactic, try to make friends on social media often. Whenever you get a business card or the contact information of another person, send them a Facebook friend request. Ryan Azimi, Director of International Development at ETIAS says, “The bigger you build your social media network, the more you can take advantage of these platforms and the more benefits you may see in the long term.”
Attend Networking Events
Industry networking events are great not just for improving your sales skills and keeping abreast of technological developments in your niche. They’re also prime opportunities to make new personal connections and acquire potential sales leads.
“For example, many networking events in sales attract both vendors and sales people. Sales people frequently try to connect with vendors and vice versa, as networking events are prime locations to come up with business deals (at least in the initial sense – most deals are formalized on paper later),” says Colette Shelton, Founder of Chirpyest.
You should attend as many networking events as possible and hand out the above-mentioned business cards to people you connect with. Even if you just have a short conversation with a vendor or retailer, your business card could represent the possibility of a new sales lead in the near future.
Ask for Testimonials – Put Them on a Blog/Personal Website
As you build a positive reputation and acquire satisfied clients and customers, ask them for testimonials. “Testimonials are personalized reviews of your services,” says Miles Beckett, CEO and Co-Founder of Flossy. “If people have good things to say about you, ask them to vocalize or write those things down.”
Once you have testimonials, you can put them on a blog or personal website. For instance, if you’re a freelancer, you likely already have a business website you use to attract clients and to take work orders. You can create a dedicated testimonials page showcasing all the positive reviews from your past and current clients.
This is a great tool to attract sales leads by leveraging the power of your personal connections.
Write Testimonials Word for Word
When adding testimonials to your website or a portfolio, be sure to write them down word for word, even if the language or grammar isn’t perfect. It’s a good way to demonstrate the authenticity of those testimonials. Anyone can write fake positive reviews about their services. But if your reviews feel authentic and legitimate, they’ll be more likely to draw new sales leads to you and your brand.
Talk About Your Work at Non-Work Events
Lastly, you should take your work out of the workplace and talk about your services and value at nonwork events, like family get-togethers and hangouts with your friends.
This isn’t to say you should only ever talk about your work, of course. You can easily irritate your social connections if all you do is try to pitch business deals to them. However, you shouldn’t be afraid to broach work opportunities to people who seem interested or who can make use of your services.
“Say that you connect with a distant uncle at a family reunion, only to find out that he is in an adjacent industry to yours. In that case, it may indeed be a wise idea to hand him your business card and bring up the topic of a business arrangement,” says Anamika Goyal, Head of Architecture and Design at Cottage. This is the best way to maximize your personal connections and acquire new sales leads for your company.
In the end, your personal connections could be some of the best means to acquire sales leads and lockdown purchases for your company. In many ways, it’s only natural to use your personal connections to maximize your sales leads; after all, the best salespeople are social butterflies and end up making many strong friendships from their sales efforts. Try these tactics in the future – you might find that your personal connections are the best sources of new sales leads!short url: