Is your FOMO (Fear Of Missing Opportunities) kicking in? Traditional networking has come to a screeching halt in 2020 and maybe on ice for the unforeseeable future.
Like many of you, I love rubbing elbows with some of the industry’s best and brightest at events such as HSMAI and HTEC.
I can’t believe my last experience was nearly a year ago at The Hotel Revenue Conference in Seattle, right before all hell broke loose.
Dang, I REALLY miss going to events like that.
If there’s a silver lining from last year, it is the reassurance nothing can replace or replicate in-person events. No way. No how. Thanks, Zoom
It’s crystal clear there are certain aspects of our lives that technology will make obsolete, but levering the right strategies can elevate your networking game to a whole new level.
LinkedIn Hospitality Social Sales Tips
Most Linkedin Experts agree the best way to network on Linkedin is to produce content that is meant to build authority, foster a discussion, and ultimately a relationship. No question, this is an effective and proven method, but it’s a HUGE commitment.
However, hotel salespeople don’t have the time or patience to execute a strategy that may produce months down the road.
So, forget about it and try this simple network strategy instead.
Step 1 | Find out where the “cool kids” hang out
Linkedin makes it a breeze to quickly find out who or where your next prospects are hanging out.
First, research specific hashtags for topics that resonate with you and your audience. I try and follow 3-5 at any one time.
My current list of follows are:
Tip: Be sure to follow hashtags with at least 1,000 follows.
Step 2 | What did they just say?
Check each of these hashtags daily to see what conversations are taking place.
Do you see a post about a topic that you have experience with or have special insight on?
Be sure to check the comments to see if any specific questions pique your interest.
The objective is to be a part of a conversation with as many people as possible before the posts.
Tip: I normally wait for a post to receive at least 50 combined likes, shares, and comments before proceeding to the next step.
Step 3 | Get in on the action
Leave a thoughtful, insightful, and value-oriented comment that demonstrates your level of expertise with no expectations.
NEVER try and sell yourself our services at this point.
The only goal is to engage in the conversation with the intent of serving, not selling.
Keeping the dialog going is critical, so asking questions at the end of each comment keeps the conversation going while building trust and authority.
When appropriate, suggest a conversation offline to understand their issues better so you can better advise a solution.
Again, direct selling at this time is not advised, only if they inquire more about what you offer.
Tip: I send a LinkedIn connection request and a note asking if I can help by setting up a call.
With in-person events off the table, I’ve had to explore other ways to network and meet other like-minded hospitality professionals.
I’m having great success using this same strategy and will continue when things get back to normal. In fact, I’m having more success networking on Linkedin than I did during the “good ole’ days.” A delicate balance of the two is where I see a networking “sweet spot.”
If you can visualize networking on Linkedin the very same way as you would in person, you’ll succeed.
Online or offline, the same rules apply. Now more than ever, it’s about building relationships before you sell that is most effective.