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by Tim Hughes | @Timothy_Hughes

Cold calling, cold outreach call it what you will, if somebody contacts you or me and we don’t know them, regardless of “platform”.  It’s a cold call.

Ring me up and I don’t know you, it’s a cold call.  Email me and I don’t know you, it’s a cold call.  Contact me over LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter it’s still a “cold call”, or cold outreach which seems to be summary term for all types of cold calling, emailing, DMing, etc.

I was contacted recently by a company that wanted me to speak at their sales conference and be on a customer panel.  I love this sort of thing.  Standing in front of 200 sales people talking about buying in 2018.  Get asked to do this a lot, usually where the management feel the need to start a social selling program or feel they need to dip their toe in the water and see what the sales team will say.  Will there be mass resignations or will they embrace it.

Anyway the company that called me up, said they had been running a social selling program for 3 years and had 6 full time resources helping the sales teams.  Excellent, I thought.  I was asked to talk about best practice, whats up and coming for social selling, which is always fun.

First thing I did (as we all do when people call us up) is I checked the people out on social.

Oh dear, the people running the social selling programs, certainly didn’t have buyer centric LinkedIn profiles.  I understand that often people think that as they are not in the field so they don’t need to have such a profile. 

While I can understand the argument, we are all sales people and we all represent a company.  Here at DLA we review new starters LinkedIn profiles and ask them to update them.  We are after all a “high water mark”.  If we go into an organisation and say, you need to have a buyer centric profile and we don’t have one ourselves.  We immediately would get resistance.  The excuse to not update the clients LinkedIn profile and I can assure you, I’ve heard them all, would be, if you don’t do it, why do I?  And I totally agree.

It will come as no surprise to you that the modern buyer in 2018 is looking for help, insight and to be educated.  if you look like a spammer, then I expect spam and will avoid you.

Then I was sent over the list of questions that would be asked of the panel and one was:-

“What is the best email/InMail you have ever sent and why?”

Now I’ve not sent an inmail probably for a few years, my co-founder, Adam doesn’t use them and neither does our Director of Social Selling, Alex Low.  Why?  We don’t need to.

Let me explain.

Inmails are just another type of cold call.  I’ve forgotten what the expected rate of having them accepted but it’s pretty low.

In this article (written in 2015) I explain a method to use that means you don’t need to make any cold outreach. “How to use Twitter to get 10 C-Level Appointments Per Week — A Case Study”

Add to that the content marketing strategy we run here at DLA and we get 3 pieces of inbound, everyday.  What I’m writing about was a piece of inbound after all.

If you call yourself a social seller, you will have a buyer centric profile and you will be getting inbound.  Maybe once a week and not everyday, but you will get inbound.  And that’s the difference between being a social seller and selling over social.

People who read this, also read these blogs:

Personal Branding. Which Are You: Lazy or Stupid?

Struggling to Get Your Emails Read by Journalists and Influencers?

Why a Personal Brand is so Much More Than a LinkedIn Profile

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