Aren’t we all Sales people? It may not be in our title but ultimately if you are the owner, manager or even human resources, you are responsible for selling something. Even if you are unemployed you sell yourself when you go on job interviews. So, let’s take a moment and address that sales man or woman that is in all of us. How many times have emails or phone calls to people you would like to make an appointment with arrived at a dead-end? How successful have you been trying to convince a stranger to give you the time of day? How much time have you wasted jumping over hurdles attempting to speak to the decision-maker in an organization?
The old school mentality of successful cold calling in business sales are over. Most decision makers in a business are just too busy to stop what they are doing to take an unexpected phone call or a quick 5 minute meeting. And then they are annoyed that you stopped them from what they were doing and probably aren’t even listening to you anyway! Barriers are all around us, and forward-thinking salespeople are embracing a new approach to break through those barriers: social media.
Tech-savvy sales staffs now use various social media channels to ‘Do Their Homework’ on potential clients and even competitors. By using tools like LinkedIn, Facebook & Twitter, it gives them an edge over their competition and outperforms their peers not using it by a staggering 73 percent. In a recent report, published by the Aberdeen Group in February of 2013, sales people exceeded their quotas 23 percent more often than their counterparts who did not social media.
I know for a fact it helps business increase sales and find new leads. I have seen it myself at my own company and the companies that we represent. Because the information is so valuable, we created an Advanced LinkedIn course geared around helping Sales people ‘Do Their Homework’ on prospects. Harnessing the power behind social media is proven to increase results! Sign up today and gain the knowledge you need to help improve the quality of your leads.
A few tips to get you started:
1. Use Social Media to break down the Barriers
Social media is an amazing tool to create organizational charts of companies before you even make your first phone call. People who create LinkedIn profiles give you the answers to the test. The majority of the time it is very clear what position they hold, what responsibilities they have and who you need to talk to in order to get the deal done.
2. Use Existing Connections to Break the Ice
If you have a few hundred connections on LinkedIn, there is no telling who you may be connected with in your extended network. You may have that big fish sitting right there and not even know it. If you are connected to someone that you don’t know but want to meet, look for the person you have in common and request an introduction. You are more likely to get a response and start a conversation that way.
3. Explore your Existing Connections
Many times we connect with people and never see or hear from them again. Before you know it, you could have over 500 connections and truly know only a hand full of people. So, take the time to look at who you are already connected to. The hard part of connecting is done, so just start a conversation. Ask them a question. Look for commonalities between you. Maybe you went to the same college or worked for the same previous employer. Or just maybe you see them posting on topics they are passionate about and you share the same interest. These are all great conversation starters to work on building relationships with your existing connections.