Does Social Media Mean You’ll Never Have to Cold Call Again?

no cold calling

That’s a question not a statement. Here’s what I think, but I’d love to hear your perspective in the comments.

Any good sales or PR person will tell you, what they do all about the relationships. You build solid relationships and that equals respect and trust which leads to referrals. Whether those referrals are for sales or knowledge gathering depends on the situation. If they do cold call it’s only the first step in building the relationship.

When was the last time you asked a cold caller for their opinion or a reference? Never?

When was the last time you asked someone in your personal network (online or off) for advice? In the last hour? Day?

When you have a conversation with someone about something you are passionate about–whether it’s sports, business or your kids–it creates an affinity with that person. When you ask them about a subject they are passionate about, you tell them you actually care what they think and you respect their opinion. Even if you don’t agree with it. A few of these conversations adds up to a relationship. With social media networks you have a world of opportunities to reach out and create relationships with people who actually want to talk with you. They share their interests freely, allowing you entrée to that first conversation quite easily. Touch someone once and they might notice you. Touch them 10 times with real questions and information and you’re top of mind. At least for that moment.

When I coach a client about social media I build my relationship with them so I can understand where they are coming from, and this takes a lot more than “fill in this questionnaire, here’s your social media strategy”. Ask any of my clients and they’ll tell you that not only am I passionate about my business, I’m passionate about theirs too. That’s how my extended network of relationships works to bring me over 90% of my business. I rarely advertise, and only then for special programs, webinars or classes.

People develop relationships with me on Twitter, Facebook, Quora, LinkedIn, my blog and slew of other places before we talk on the phone or meet in person, and we develop trust. Then we do business.

So when somebody sends me a link to a class for “Cold Calling Success!” I don’t open it. Cold calling is the most painful process I can imagine and I just won’t do it. Do you? Tell me why it works for you.