If you’re like me, you spend a lot of time networking online through Linked In, Plaxo, Face Book and other social media. While it hasn’t paid off for me in terms of new clients yet, I bet it has for some of you and the difference may lie in the nature of the business we are in. Mine is not a transactional business; I only seek to work with 3-4 clients at a time a la a selective coach. Over the years all of my assignments have come from in-person referrals…from people who have come to know me through personal networking at Chamber of Commerce meetings and the like. But,if one is in a transactional enterprise involving the purchase and sale of commodity-type products or others which can be bought via e-commerce, the seller’s integrity is probably less of an issue…. the key is more in the reputation of the brand being offered. Here, online networking can perform wonders provided one is committed to it and has the discipline to participate every day. When you do,it will work, even without a face to face get together. However, for those of us in personal service businesses, while the ability to meet initially through online intros is important, we still need to establish mutual trust and confidence. Therefore we must augment the online intro with a “face to face” over a cup of coffee. But, whether as the source of an initial lead or an opportunity to complete a sale, the online world is here to stay as an all-important business development tool.
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About WilderFormerly the CEO of two advertising agencies working with national marketers, I apply the learning of my 40- year career to entrepreneurs and small businesses who want to speed their sales and profit growth. As both a former CEO, and as a current entrepreneur, I bring a unique understanding of my clients' mindsets to my work. Additionally, I like to help execute the plans and activities we develop during our planning together.