It’s easy to put a value on a business relationship. It can sound a little like a MasterCard commercial. Business lunch: $57. Tickets to the big game: $160. Business dinner: $350. Closing a million dollar deal for your company: Priceless.
Except — it’s not priceless; it’s worth $1,000,000. It’s fairly easy to track revenue versus cost.
These kind of relationships can help you in several ways. But personal/social connections are more difficult to quantify in monetary terms. What’s the concrete value of a warm introduction from a friend or colleague?
The warm introduction from a connection, colleague, or friend is the holy grail of business introductions! Since the Internet now often precedes the salesperson as the main source of information on a product or service — you want to go beyond what the prospect reads on your website. Warm intros jump start relationships.
Warm Intros Trump Voicemail and Cold Calling
If you’re not listening to your voicemails, you’re not alone. Virtual phone service provider, eVoice, reports that only 18% of businesspeople listen to voicemails if they don’t recognize the number. There are entire books and blogs and webcasts focusing on advice about techniques to get better voicemail response. Oh, and cold calling — well, the name says it all. Warm intros mean you can skip all that training, uncertainty, and angst.
Warm Intros Bypass the Gatekeeper
How much time and energy do you spend trying to talk your way past a potential client’s secretary or assistant? The path, if you’re successful, probably leads straight to voicemail. Remember that 18% statistic we just mentioned? Voicemail is basically a black hole – anything that goes in there won’t likely be heard from again.
Warm Intros Provide High-Quality Intel
How much time and energy do you spend trying to uncover your prospect’s challenges? Warm introductions provide an opportunity to get great insights on known issues so you can discuss challenges intelligently in advance of talking about your product. You will likely be able to use your connections’ insights to supplement your research with firsthand information.
Put a Dollar Sign on Connection
Clearly, there is value in connections. But, how do you assign a monetary value?
Reachable is passionate about helping professionals leverage relationships. Their research shows that personal connections have a big impact on everything from returning calls to increasing productivity in the sales pipeline. A personal connection means the person you’re calling is 5.2 times more likely to return the call, and personal connections lead to a 243% increase in sales productivity — resulting in more business for the same number of prospecting calls.
For every 1000 calls, a warm connection means an almost 80% return rate, vs. 30% if you go in cold. That’s significant. Assuming a 20% lead and conversion rate, that’s upwards of 20 more deals per 1000 calls. That’s a number you can use to identify a dollar amount.
KiteDesk’s product is packed with effective ways to go beyond any single social network to find and leverage the relationships that matter most to your business. You can harness the power of your own network, and that of your entire team, to find the best path into an organization and make warm introductions the hallmark of your packed pipeline. A packed pipeline — wouldn’t that be a nice statistic!
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- Calculating the Business Value of Social Connections - January 19, 2016