I’m well aware of the scientific researcher’s maxim that “the plural of anecdote is not data“. It’s only human nature to hear an interesting business tale and (especially if you agree with its conclusions) extrapolate it to absurd lengths. I’d be a lot fatter if I’d had a sausage for every time I’d heard a salesman tell a marketing meeting: “We should be selling blue widgets, really, because I was with a client the other day and they said they’d like a new supplier of blue widgets”.
However, I did have a conversation the other day which might have a lesson for us all. A friend in the construction industry was bemoaning having had to work late recently because his company had such a big project on, and the client had insisted that he was the project manager. Why him? It turned out that one of the reasons the company had got the job in the first place was my friend’s extremely relevant experience. And the way his client had become aware of that? By looking at my friend’s profile on LinkedIn.
If there’s anything in your own track record or general background which potential customers can relate to, you need to make sure it’s on your LinkedIn page. People are unpredictable, and some of the most unlikely connections can lead to them wanting to do business with you. I often find that clients were encouraged to use BMON when they found out that I started the Pro-Talk websites and newsletters, or Industrial Technology magazine. But although it’s not necessarily the clincher, we’ve also got clients who like the idea of working with someone who went to the same university, or who supports the same football team (Loughborough and Ipswich respectively, if it’s of any interest)!
What do you and your team have on your CVs which might make prospects warm to you?