Mom always said … “Don’t Talk to Strangers”
As adults we’re probably a bit fuzzy on the wisdom of our parents, but one statement from our childhood is not easily forgotten … DON’T TALK TO STRANGERS! This guidance has withstood the test of time as I reflect on the countless conversations and role play with my children to reinforce that strangers = danger. So it’s not surprising that a lot of people are “creeped out” by social media; it’s a stranger’s paradise! And, I’m woman enough to admit that I initially rejected social media. My thought was if someone wanted to be my ‘friend’, they could meet me the old fashioned way … at a social or business event, through my kids/husband/neighbor/friend, at church, etc.
But then, it happened … the $40 MILLON conversation. That was when a family friend/mentor shared how he introduced two of his LinkedIn connections and a $40 MILLION business transaction resulted for which he collected a referral fee. Suddenly, social media (and strangers, for that matter) took on new meaning!
We redirected our attention to LinkedIn; thinking of it as a business development tool as opposed to “just another job board”. We studied LinkedIn, asked LinkedIn staffers tons of questions, drilled LinkedIn’s early adopters with more questions, and read countless “how to” books. Then, it happened … we were A.L.I.V.E.TM ! From there, people searched for our core expertise, found us, reached out, we connected [yes, even with strangers] and business was transacted! Within a 2-year period, we had won over $500,000 in new consulting opportunities in our core competency through LinkedIn.
Our results didn’t come magically. We took what we knew to be true – that people do business with people they know, like, and trust – and put it on steroids leveraging the power of LinkedIn’s 300+ million professional network! So, go ahead, talk to strangers … just be sure you’re both A.L.I.V.E.TM!
Wondering if you’re A.L.I.V.E.TM ? Click here to learn more and to download a LinkedIn Profile Optimization checklist.
Kelly Leonard is a speaker, trainer, and 2014 Minerva Entrepreneur Women-Owned Business of the Year Award recipient. A certified public accountant, seasoned financial services professional, and corporate trainer with over twenty-five years of experience in federal government, private and public accounting environments, including Fortune 100, Kelly has an innate ability to connect with diverse audiences across disciplines.
Prior to becoming CEO of Taylor-Leonard Corporation (T-LC), Kelly held leadership positions with GE Capital, GE Healthcare Financial Services, Kaiser Permanente, and PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Currently, Kelly oversees the training and business development practices of T-LC and [in the last 2 years] has trained more than 3,000 business professionals to grow their business using LinkedIn. Implementing the strategies she teaches, her company has generated over $500,000 in new consulting revenue through LinkedIn within a 24-month period in their core practice area – Customer Relationship Management (CRM).