Cold calling is the most feared activity in business. Before Social Media, everyone struggled to find the golden ticket that would transform the sword-bridge of cold-calling into a stairway to heaven.
And here we are in 2010. Every day, I see the same questions over and over - how does Social Media convert leads to sales, what's the ROI on Social Media...in other words, how do we transform this new sword-bridge into a carpeted stairway?
Every moment in the world of Social Media is a cold call. Someone comes to your blog - can they tell *instantly* who you are and what you do? Can they identify the point of your post? On Twitter, do you have consistent messaging? Or are you all about professionalism in one update, and talking about beer and pickles for lunch that day in the next?
The basics of Cold Calling are the basics of Social Media. Your profile must answer questions any visitor might ask:
Who are you?
Why should I visit your profile?
What makes you better or more interesting than everyone else?
Why should I care what you have to say?
Go hop on over to Facebook and check out one of the pages you've "Liked." If you were pitching this page, could you answer these questions for that company? You know why you "liked" them - but was it something they've communicated through their page, or did you have prior knowledge or experience with them that motivated you?
Now take a look at your own company's profile. Ask the same questions of yourself. Are people coming here because they have heard of you from somewhere else, or because they are seeking you out here? Do you give them compelling content or are your drawing them in through offers of discounts and contests?
Every time someone takes a look at your profile on LinkedIn, are they getting a good cold call pitch; the who you are, what you can do for them and why they should care?
Cold calls are really a misnomer. Few calls are genuinely cold. You have an industry in common, or an interest, or a need, or a mutual contact. Emphasize the mutual, the fact that there is a reason that the two of you need to be in contact.
Tweak your Social Media to do your cold calling for you and you'll have one less step towards carpeting that stairway.