How Social Engagement Drives Sales
“Today there’s no excuse for not knowing about a company and all the attendees in a meeting. ”
Over the last 20 years, Bob Laurenzo has played an integral role in helping to build a $250M IT reseller, survived a rare form of cancer (Sarcoma), volunteered for the economically disadvantaged and co-chaired the North Jersey ACS chapter and annual golf outing. Today he heads up Decusoft, a leading HRIS compensation management software company, located in Ramsey, NJ.
You can be sure Laurenzo knows how to build relationships; the proof is above. I’ve had the privilege of seeing him—and his innate gift of being able to remember the finer details of the lives of those around him—in action. He has an intuitive ability to connect with, nurture and understand others. This is particularly valuable as the leader of a successful business, as he has fine-tuned his instincts to determine what his customers need.
Today, he’s letting us in on his secrets, including the primary role social media plays in his ability to connect.
Q. What social platform(s) do you use regularly in your business activities to keep in touch with your vast number of followers?
A. LinkedIn is number one for me, followed by Twitter and Facebook. I rely on it every day and have it open on my laptop all day long. When I follow a prospect’s company, I read their updates in my newsfeed and get intelligence on what’s going on with either them or their competitors, including earnings reports, announcements, personnel moves, etc.
Q. Can you give us an example of a recent social outreach you’ve done? Who was it directed toward? What did you say?
A. I had a customer who was connected to someone I was interested in speaking with. I asked that person to send an introduction on my behalf. Once he did that, I sent a LinkedIn InMail referencing the type of work I do and how I’ve helped companies similar to theirs. Sometimes I just send a LinkedIn request with a note to say that someone suggested I reach out. A social outreach on LinkedIn InMail works better for me than an email, which always runs the risk of getting caught in SPAM filters.
Q. What kind content/posts (industry newsletters, connection’s posts, etc.) do you use when posting? How do you use them?
A. Ideas from thought leaders and influencers, articles from HR Executive and well-known trade mags. Even if it’s not specifically about compensation (my industry), I’ll post business advice in general. If my connections share a post, I’ll often share and ‘Like’ it. If I have an onsite meeting with someone I haven’t meet before, I’ll also look up their social media footprint to learn more about them to identify what, if anything, we have in common.
Q. What are some of the key pointers you’d offer someone about how to use social media for business development efforts?
A. If I want to connect with someone, I’ll send them a request with a note naming our common connections. My advice would be to use the search feature to see what commonalities you have in your networks, especially on LinkedIn. I also make it a point to do outreach after hours and on weekends because, let’s face it, most of us execs do work during those hours when there’s less noise competing for our attention.
Q. What business benefits have you seen from using social media?
A. It takes much less time to prepare for a prospect meeting when you’ve already gathered all that information, both on the company and the people you’re meeting with, using social media. Today there’s no excuse for not knowing about a company and all the attendees in a meeting. It helps create a warmer environment for the meeting and separate you from those who don’t take the time to adequately prepare.
Q. What’s your favorite Italian food and who makes it the best?
A. My mom’s meatballs and spaghetti. She makes it true Sicilian style with a variety of meats—cooks it low and slow for several hours until tender and the aroma is something you can almost taste!