Social media: As easy as going out to lunch. Or is it?

Years ago I worked with a lady who sold Volvo’s for a living. She was a funny little lady from Singapore who had traveled all over the world. Along the way she picked up a knack for making people like her and was very comfortable approaching total strangers and saying hi. She loved to eat but claimed that cooking was not her forte, so every meal was enjoyed out. Restaurants all over town looked forward to Irena’s visits as the vibe in the full dining room would always be positive with our star in the room as she walked from table to table saying hi like she owned the place.

Every one of those people Irena spoke to remembered her. Every single one also ended up with a business card in their pocket.

You could say that Irena was very strong at social networking.

Social media is not all that different from social networking in the physical world in that both revolve around meeting and nurturing a community. As Irena nurtured her community, she grew a network of potential clients. When you grow a network of friends on Facebook or Twitter, you are potentially doing the same for your business. Just like our heroine would make friends when she went for lunch, you should be making friends when you venture online.

It would seem then that social media is as easy as going out for lunch. But is it really?

When Irena went out for lunch with a group of us, she would bolt from the table with a great big smile and work the room in a seemingly haphazard manner. Once you had been out with her a few times though, you realized that she had a strategy. First off, she always said hello very loudly to the owner or manager who welcomed her warmly. The waiters would always greet her by name and maybe introduce her to someone at another table. She had been working the community for so long that she had a connection of some sort with just about everyone, so it was easy for her to add new people to her network of relations. She never sold cars at lunch, rather she made friends by selling herself.

Oftentimes, Irena would return to our table when we were finished with our dim sum and then come back to the dealership and eat a sandwich.

This very smart lady had a social networking strategy that made her one of the top Volvo sales people in Canada.

Social media can be as easy as going out for lunch, if you have a plan.

What is your strategy for lunch today?

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