How to Have Off-Line Conversations with Your Online Connections

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Yesterday I wrote about why you need to take your online connections off-line. Today I’ll tell you how.

Build relationships with your online connections by getting on the phone

When you met somebody online and you’ve had some sort of an ongoing conversation, someone you think you might have a connection with, approach them about having an off-line conversation.

You can send them a private message on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, or send them an e-mail asking for a phone conversation.

Don’t make this a sales call! Really – I’m serious! Stress that this will be a “getting to know you” conversation. And mean it. Suggest a couple of dates and times and give them a time limit for the call – I suggest 30 minutes.

When the appointed time comes, ask a series of open ended questions that will allow you to get to know this person and their business. Of course you’ll want to give them the same information about yourself.

Types of questions to ask:

  • Tell me about your business.
  • What makes you different from the competition?
  • Who is your ideal client? How would I recognize them?
  • What are your goals for the next year?
  • What resources do you need to accomplish them?

Be sure to take notes as are having this conversation. Then go through your connections and see if there’s someone you can introduce them to. It could be an ideal client, it could be a resource they need, it could be someone you think they would like to know.

Then over the coming weeks and months, keep this conversation in the back of your mind and try to send this person a resource, an interesting link, or a referral.

Not everyone you speak with will become a valued customer or colleague. The vast majority of people really don’t know how to network, and don’t know how to help others. But if you go out into the world with a genuine desire to be a helpful resource, eventually you’ll find people who help you achieve your goals to.

Andrea J Stenberg

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