More and more of our clients and prospects are active online and this offers us all an opportunity to better connect with them, listen to them and influence them.  I love the quote below from Law.com advising on best ways to do this.  It got me thinking about the advice I have received and given over the last year:

  1. Connect with your clients and colleagues on LinkedIn - This is too obvious but I still meet people who are not LinkedIn with key clients and prospects
  2. Use Twitter if your clients use Twitter - you do not have to like it but if a key client is active on Twitter this is the way to influence them.  Hold your nose and dive in - you might even like it!
  3. Create short sharp insightful, authentic content; useful videos and insights from your colleagues that will be of interest to your network.  Then you have something to share on Linkedin and Twitter
  4. Like, share, engage with your network online.  People like to have their posts liked and commented on - as long as it is done authentically.  Add value if you can.  Show what you know.  Add to the conversation.  (Note: do not be negative - as my granny used to say better to say nothing positive to say best to say nothing at all).
  5. Listen to your colleagues, clients, prospects and the wider industry. Talk to them. Listen with intent. Notice what they like and share online and write content that you know they will find interesting.

I have found that my network - clients, colleagues, prospects, friends - who trust me are very happy to refer and recommend me in a business sense if they are given an appropriate opportunity.  By this I mean an opportunity where they feel comfortable and/or there is something in it for them - not necessarily in a transactional way but in a way that makes them look good/clever/kind or generous.

I think what is important here is rarely do we feel comfortable pushing someone else's sales messages.  When someone is shouting 'Buy My Services' or just sharing via the 'spray and pray' method we would rather disconnect than recommend.  

As we say at Passle LISTEN, CREATE, ENGAGE - then repeat.