Modern business development. From cold-calling to ‘social ego’ stroking.

Some things in life are so obvious, we just can’t see them. And it shocks me how few people understand what the important part of ‘social media’ or ‘social networking’ actually is.

The exciting aspect of the boom in social technologies is not the technology at all, (Sorry geeks). It’s the ‘social’ part.

And the core rules of socialising online are the same as socialising face-to-face.

Pandering flattery offline can be easily detected, and only works with the shallowest of egotists. But subtle, positive reinforcement and public endorsement is the most powerful way to engage with any human being.

Ask any skilled ‘pick-up artist’.

And so it is with using social networking to win clients. Start by endorsing your target clients ‘social persona’. Here is how.

  • Target your prospect client by following that person on Twitter, connecting on LinkedIn, ‘liking’ their Facebook page, or adding them on Google+. If your own social media platforms are compelling enough, a healthy percentage will reciprocate. Mostly, they follow you back after reviewing your profile. How about that? Your prospect is researching you!
  • Track what your prospect tweets carefully, and when they tweet something interesting or topical, that is in your domain, Retweet it. There is little more satisfying for a Tweeter than to have their content or ideas Retweeted. It’s an endorsement, and I guarantee you they will click on your bio and see “who is this smart person who recognises quality”. Bingo! You are noticed!
  • Sometimes that prospect will thank you for the RT. Imagine that huh? This ‘impossible to contact prospect’ is now thanking you. If that happens, you tweet them back, building on the original Tweet. “Pleasure Dave, I agree mobile technology will change the face of recruitment”. You could even point them to more material on the same topic, and so a conversation begins. Welcome to the highly clichéd nirvana of social media…. engagement!
  • Track down your client’s blog, if they have one. Read it religiously. Find a good reason to make compelling comments on their blog. You don’t have to be sycophantic, or agree with their point of view. Just push the debate forward. Bloggers love comments. Trust me, I know. (See “comments” section below this post ☺).
  • If your client is quoted in the press or online, or has an article published, spread it far and wide on your own social media channels. They will know, and they will like it, and by extension, they will start to like you.

Imagine if you did all or even a few of the things I suggest above with a key prospect. How easy would it be to start an online conversation do you think? How easily could you convert that conversation to a meeting, and eventually to business?

Oh yes, everyone has an ego. We know that. And everyone online has a “social ego”.

So, for a happy ending to your business development efforts, get massaging!


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About Greg Savage

Over a career spanning thirty years, Greg Savage has established himself as a global recruitment leader. Greg is a regular keynote speaker at staffing and recruitment conferences around the world.

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19 Responses to Modern business development. From cold-calling to ‘social ego’ stroking.

  1. Chris Savage May 29, 2012 at 10:20 am #

    This is wonderful advice, clearly written by someone with deep wisdom, amazing yet subtle insight, notable good looks, charismatic appeal and generally quite stratling leadership skills. Thank you so much. Chris Savage (PS did I read your handwriting correctly?)

    • Greg Savage May 29, 2012 at 10:27 am #

      Ah I LOVE the smell of sarcasm in the morning!
      (But I just knew that blog heading would get you reading Christopher!)

  2. Ruth May 29, 2012 at 10:26 am #

    Some great tips and useful reminders on the importance of keeping social media, social. As you say, it’s all about engagement and once you start a conversation with someone anything can happen… 🙂

  3. Neil Bolton May 29, 2012 at 10:28 am #

    Chris: I have to agree – I’ve always said Greg had stratling leadership skills.

    Love the subject line Greg!

    But seriously, you’re the classic example of social networking done well. Thanks.

  4. Jonathan Rice May 29, 2012 at 11:19 am #

    Ahh the social ego. Well said, well put, and yes there’s a few of them about, myself included. But the most important part of this post is the assertion that the key to social technologies is the “social” and not the “technology”. I agree 100% which is why my company is hosting a social recruiting powwow at the end of the Quarter, and every Quarter going forward, so that relationships formed in the social sphere can be further cemented in person over some cold beers.

  5. Philip Divilly May 29, 2012 at 11:43 am #

    So true! Great simple and practical tips Greg. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Sandra Anderson May 29, 2012 at 3:54 pm #

    Loved it. Very simple tips and much easier to connect with a client. Beats hard selling and cold calling hands down!

  7. Iain Maine May 29, 2012 at 5:10 pm #

    Just to continue the theme, outstanding article Greg.

  8. Bill Maynard May 29, 2012 at 5:15 pm #

    Absolutely fantastic title Greg – Love it!

  9. sinan May 30, 2012 at 5:22 am #

    Excellent one..!!

  10. Ravi Janardhan May 30, 2012 at 3:00 pm #

    Awesome post, Greg!

  11. Navid May 30, 2012 at 5:31 pm #

    I agree with all points mentioned above. If you have genuine interest in others it does in a way lead to the process of reciprocity and them returning the favour.

    Really good points.

  12. Jeff Newman June 11, 2012 at 10:53 pm #

    As always, awesome… And the title made my AM

  13. Helen Kay June 26, 2012 at 7:30 am #

    What a great article….thanks Greg!

  14. Mitch Sullivan July 4, 2012 at 9:08 pm #

    I think a lot of this “massaging” behaviour as you call it can be seen through fairly easily.

    I think effective use of social media is a little more complex than that.

  15. Cora Mae Lengeman July 4, 2012 at 9:28 pm #

    Love the title -it got me to read it – and the content works for me. Great ideas for “connecting” with a prospectibve client/candidate without being too obnoxious, if you can keep it professional. Too overboard looks like stalking!

  16. Shane Smith January 31, 2013 at 10:02 pm #

    Leads me to think of the lessons of a course I attended called the Principles of Persuasion (POP). First and beginning Principle is Liking then Reciprocity and so on and so fourth. Excellent Article simple well written and engaging title certainly got my attention!!!!

    BTW if you are interested in attendance at a (PO) Course. see @Anthony_Mclean

  17. Craig Andresen May 2, 2014 at 10:53 am #

    My colleague and I have been talking about this very subject for a while now… Being a skilled ‘pick up artist’ I am excited about putting this into practice… In a professional recruitment manner of course…

  18. Balraj Chandra May 5, 2014 at 10:45 pm #

    It works!

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