How to Make Online Business Introductions
By Bill Cates, CSP, CPAE
In this digital world, most of business is done online with convenience and ease. But what about referrals and introductions? Networking is an important part of business that won’t be pushed aside as we digitise our work processes.
Luckily, making introductions online is easy and effective — as long as you’re doing it right. An introduction is personal by nature, so when making them online there are a few things that must be done to preserve the intimacy of the interaction. Here are some tips for doing online introductions right.
The initial text-based introduction
Whether giving or receiving referrals, an electronic handshake via email or social workspaces can be a very effective form of introduction. Here’s how it works: The referral source sends an introduction email message to the prospect and CC’s you. You then follow up with the prospect, but within that first message there are some important things that must happen to facilitate a proper referral. Here are 5 tips for making an electronic handshakes more effective:
What’s a social workspace?
Social workspaces are online work platforms that look and act like social networks. Rather than just facilitating conversations, social workspaces also host calendars, store files, demonstrate workflows and facilitate professional collaboration. Get out of your inbox and start getting things done with Podio. To learn more, visit www.podio.com.
Chatting face to face online
An increasingly popular form of the online introduction is an online meeting with video conferencing. When you and your prospect turn on your webcam in an online meeting, you’re experiencing the closest thing to an in-person meeting — but in a convenient, non-intrusive environment.
There are two ways to use video conferencing for referrals and introductions online: First, a three-way video conference creates a personalised and memorable introduction that allows your referral source to verbally introduce you and your prospect. And with video, your prospect familiarises with you more quickly, making the introduction more valuable. Second, you might use video conferencing as a follow-up to the text-based introduction your referral source provided in email or messages within a social workspace. Once in the meeting with your new prospect, you can talk face to face about their needs and questions.
An online meeting allows you to leverage the trust between the other two parties and build your own trust more quickly. Here are three tips for making online meeting introductions more effective:
Did you know?
GoToMeeting was named a market leader for web conferencing by Frost & Sullivan in late 2012. To get started with online meetings, visit www.gotomeeting.com.au
About Bill Cates & GoToMeeting
Bill Cates is the author of Get More Referrals Now! and Don’t Keep Me a Secret! His new book, Beyond Referrals, is being released by McGraw-Hill in April 2013. Bill helps salespeople get more referrals and turn those referrals into new clients. Check out Bill’s books at www.GetMoreReferrals.com. Contact Bill directly at BillCates@ReferralCoach.com.
GoToMeeting is the extremely simple, extraordinarily powerful web conferencing service from Citrix. It integrates HD video conferencing, screen sharing and audio conferencing, allowing you to collaborate effectively online in a face-to-face environment. Hold unlimited meetings for one low flat fee and attend meetings from a Mac, PC and mobile devices. GoToMeeting will change the way you work – and perhaps a whole lot more. To learn more visit, www.gotomeeting.com.au.
Copyright 2013 by Bill Cates and Referral Coach International