Do you know how to solicit business correctly? I was listening to a podcast with Dr. Ivan Misner, the founder of BNI. He said something that I have long felt, but he said it better than I have ever heard. Most sales people, and especially network marketers, are guilty of “premature solicitation”. What exactly is premature solicitation? It is exactly as it sounds. If you have zero credibility and and zero relationship with a person, you have no business soliciting them for business. At least not yet.
I have noticed this mostly on Facebook and Twitter. Today I had one person post about 20 different solicitations in a row! Does this person really think it is getting them any sales? If anything, it is only getting them unfriended. Nobody wants to see this. Sadly, this is not all that uncommon. Several of my “friends” on Facebook have taken to this tact. Is it because they are new to soliciting business and don’t know what to do, so they just post it all over the place? Perhaps. It could also be that social media is still relatively new and few people no how to do it correctly. And Twitter? I have been successful building a few relationships on Twitter, but that place is one big swap meet of amateurs soliciting business!
So, how do you solicit business correctly?
I am not going to tell you I am perfect, but I have tried to employ a few things. I have taken a few different courses on social media and have learned a few things. Based on search results in Google, the number one thing people want from Twitter and Facebook is content. This means that if you are soliciting a business, you should be providing valuable content on your social media sites and not a sales pitch. In fact, experts say that a good ratio of content to sales pitch is between 50-1 and 100-1. That means you should be posting some form of helpful content 50-100 times before you pitch your product. A daily “tip” is one great way of doing this.
Second, to solicit business correctly, build rapport with your “friends”. If you go to the chat bar and see someone is online that you have recently connected with, reach out to them. DO NOT solicit them. This would be premature solicitation and nobody likes that. Build rapport with them. Look for something on their profile that is of interest and ask them about it. Just as you would in a networking event, use your OPEN OFFER technique to learn more about the person. Once you have built sufficient rapport, then perhaps you can solicit them. Or, even better, wait another day or two. You can also reach out to them by phone if they have it on their info page. Doing so won’t seem so creepy once you have had a chat with them.
The same goes for Twitter. Provide content, not just links to solicit business correctly. You want to build rapport with your followers. Follow them back too and respond to a tweet they made. Ask them a question about it. Learn what it is they do or why they do it. Ask if they are on Facebook and then connect with them there.
Finally, be consistent. If your goal is 75 posts or tweets per solicitation and you want to solicit one every two weeks, this means you should provide 5-10 pieces of content daily. You can use pieces of your blog from that day, quotes you like, daily tips that help your friends and followers and other pieces of advice. If you are trying to build a business part time and it just is not possible for you to be on your social media sites 24/7, use technology like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck to schedule your content every couple of hours. This way you do all the work in 10 minutes in the morning or the night before, then it goes out when you tell it to the next day.
With these few tips and perhaps a little more work, you can be successful in soliciting business correctly.
To your massive success,