You Are the Sum of All Your Digital Handshakes

One of the DLA Ignite team said this at a meeting

"you are the sum of your digital handshakes"

and it's true.

There are three levels of network

1. Contacts - this is pretty much 99% of the people on LinkedIn. You will have tactically connected to people. The average person on LinkedIn has 930 connections and they are mainly recruitment consultants and x colleagues.

If you think about it, this is pretty useless to you.

Why? If you want to influence an account, if you want conversations in an account, if you want people to know you, like you and trust you in an account then you need to be connected to those people.

It's worth mentioning that spamming people, pitching to people and using apps won't get you very far on social. Social is a social network, where you need to be social. I know that sounds obvious, but from the amount of spam I get, people still seem to think you can take legacy sales methods, such as cold calling (telemarketing) and email marketing and bring them to social and expect them to work. They don't. 

In our social selling and influence course we teach and coach people, how to connect to people on social and have conversations. 

The next stage of network growth is to move your contacts to a network.

2. Network - A network, is similar to contact expect that network know you. Worth mentioning that you don't need to know them, but they know you.

Think about in your life, you have certain friends that if you turn up in their area and you suggest that you should go for a coffee, then they will drop everything and meet you.

How many people like this do you have in your network? 20, maybe 50. To build a network, you need to grow this to 200 or even 1,000. Why?

Because these people will support you, share your content and influence through their network. This is how you start not just selling to your network, but through your network.

A network is willing to have conversations with you, let's not forget that conversations lead to sales. A network, wants you to succeed and are willing to refer work to you. A network will also walk towards you. This is where you get inbound. Inbound is where people come to you and say they want to buy. 

The average person on Linkedin has 930 connections, that is a network of 930 x 930 = 864,900

Think of it as an email list of 864,900.

3. Audience - The next stage in your network evolution is creating an audience.

An audience is a network, but where they love your content, they look out for your content, they want to interact with your content. They want to share your content. 

An audience gives you all the added benefits of a network, but you have engagement built in, this turbochargers the spread of your influence. 

In business today 

"you are the sum of your digital handshakes"

So who's doing this?

In case you missed it, the Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch have banned cold calling and have moved all their people to social selling. This isn't some trendy tech company that might have decided to do this on a whim, this is a very conservative financial services company that has made a decision based on data.

But surely cold calling has a better ROI than social selling? Not according to Merrill Lynch. "They will also be encouraged to contact prospects over LinkedIn, which has a higher hit rate than cold calling"

The CRO (chief revenue officer), Richard Eltham of Namos Solutions, of one of clients posted a comment on LinkedIn about social selling. See here.

“Social selling is not an option now it is the way of the world and you either learn and execute it or fear getting left behind” 

Kevin Murray who is the Head of Sales at MacArtney Underwater Technology recently posted about his success with social selling here and wrote an article about the transformation that has happened in sales here.

Related: Is Cold Calling Dead? Do You Still Use a Walkman?