If you knew that your best prospect was going to look at your LinkedIn profile next Thursday and make a decision on whether or not to come in to see you based on what they see – would you change it?
Google yourself – first your name, then the name of your company. What comes up in that first results page? These results are very well the new first impression someone has of you. Referral acquisition is no longer reliant on word of mouth. Just a few short years ago, in order to cultivate referrals, you just needed to deliver good products and service, communicate consistently, and give clients an experience to talk with others about. Today, all of that is still true but becomes meaningless if what they say about you does not match what is found online.
Today, 9 out of 10 people will search for you online before coming in to meet with you. Why? Because they can (and should) conduct some due diligence to find out about you and your firm before coming in to share anything with you. Think about it – people go online to scope out a golf bag, shoes, refrigerator, car shampoo, etc. that people speak positively about. So of course they will go online for even more significant things like doctors, financial advisors, accountants – people they need to feel comfortable trusting and depending on for their guidance and knowledge.
The problem begins if they can’t locate you online or if what they find is not up to date, clearly stated, or does not share the benefits of you and your firm. Even worse, what if the information they find out about you online doesn’t come close to matching the perception that they had in their mind of you after being referred? Don’t give your prospects a reason to pause. That pause may just result in you not converting that hard-earned referral into an appointment and sale. Ask yourself, does my online presence match who I really am?