Business networking

Reaching people who do not use social media

My business-building activity primarily relies on old-fashioned personal mentions from well-connected people I already know to higher level people in my target markets, or the government officials that control those markets, who I do not know.  My activity simply allows me to get the cell phone number of the person I want to meet and increases the chance that they will pick up my call. I count on the people I know to eventually speak with the people I want to meet and say “Tony is a sharp guy working on… I think you should meet him”. Some might phrase this simply as “climbing the ladder”. This process is quite inefficient from my business coach’s perspective, not really scalable and not well managed by me.

I sent this message to a top-level LinkedIn consultant today:

“Dear _:
You were generous in offering me a telephone consultation this summer. I asked for the conversation because my current advisers promote marketing on Facebook and I hope to look toward LinkedIn in the future. But my anecdotal observation was that my prospective business relationships – potential clients and key persons – are not active on either LinkedIn or Facebook. Your response was basically that my observation was likely inaccurate and that almost everyone has an online presence nowadays.

Since then, I’ve kept tabs of the people I’ve met in real life or mentioned to me as possible valuable contacts. Of the 5 people I’ve met (or want to meet) in this “target group” experiment that I’ve tracked since our telephone conversation, I’m certain that 4 do not have LinkedIn profiles and are not active Facebook users. This experiment reaffirms my belief that my older, affluent, rural, influential and powerful ideal client market is not active on social media. They tend to be larger business owners, politicians, government appointees, judges, lawyers and C-level public company executives. They tend to be over age 70. When we speak, I do occasionally hear generalized comments like “I don’t get involved with that online stuff”.

That leads me back to my original question: Do I abandon social media as a means to reach these ‘movers and shakers’ or do I redefine my target market to focus on people who can be reached and influenced through electronic communications? That’s a question that I plan to address before committing any significant resources.”


I conclude that there is not any change that I should make at this time but that I will continue to look for ways to improve my business marketing and sales performance.

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