“Hi, my name is Mary Smith and I know you don’t want to talk to me and you’re probably tired of getting phone calls from people like me but, I’m calling today to talk to you about how technology is changing the world of sales.”
Okay, no one likes to make them and no one likes to receive them so, why do we do it? On top of that we have caller ID, voice mail and automatic inbox filtering systems so how do you get through?
According to a study by by Jim Keenan, 78% of salespeople using social media outsell their peers. Social media is changing the sales game. Customers have the power, they’re better informed and decisions are well-researched.
And, you can’t depend on just the “brand” either. Customers are engaged! They’re reading blogs, tweets and conversations on LinkedIn just to name a few sources. Information is EVERYWHERE and it’s estimated that 50-70% of the buying process happens BEFORE the rep ever gets involved.
B r e a t h e …
Here’s my take on it – Social Media is best used as a method for “getting in” the account. Think of social networks as the ultimate sales networking tool because you can meet so many people so quickly.
Here are some tips:
- Grow Your Network
- Join Groups and engage!
- Share valuable content – do not direct sell!
- Before reaching out to your prospects find three things that you have in common
- Give and ask for recommendations
- Don’t try and sell anyone anything – just provide great content. If they want to buy something from you they will seek you out.
- Monitor people changing titles and companies in the News Feed.
- Use the apps – Reading List by Amazon, Slide Share to share presentations
- Identify 5 industry blogs with relevant information to your customers, check these at least once a week (use Google Reader to manage).
Like anything, you’ve got to work it for it to work for you. I always suggest taking Monday’s (which are good admin days) to carve out time to work your social media.
What an opportunity! Look at the information you obtain before you ever make that connect. Sales is still a relationship business but the way we communicate and how we can build those relationships has changed.