February 06, 2015
By Rory J. Thompson, Web Editor
With all the technology available at sales peoples’ disposal today, it’s a wonder every call doesn’t end up in a deal. But the very success of all these programs and aids are conversely what is slowing down the sales process: To wit, everyone has the same tools. Consequently, sales prospects are being constantly bombarded by the same message in the same way, over and over again. It’s no wonder they won’t take your calls.
But there is one aspect of sales that can be uniquely yours to help you stand out in a crowded field and make your message heard. The way to do it is by being ‘social.’
Safitri Sri, project director and chief strategy office at Indonesia’s Telekomunikasi Indonesia, recently put up a new blog post on ClickZ, the online resource of interactive marketing news, information, commentary, advice, opinion, research, and reference. In it, she makes a strong case for adding a social component to any sales effort, because she recognizes how well it’s been working in her home country.
“The social media revolution is transforming three important disciplines – marketing, sales, and customer service - and in Indonesia it is no exception,” she wrote. “Over the last five years social marketing has been the market focus, enabling brands to create new ways to engage with potential customers, but only recently has social selling become a buzzword.”
Sri suggests using social selling as a method for gathering intelligence for potential targets and, as a result, “turn an Internet user into a customer, using social media.”
She then lists five ways to monitor customers during a selling cycle on social media:
- Set up tools to listen to your prospects, for example using Google (News - Alert) alerts or TweetDeck;
- Monitor your prospect profiles and status on LinkedIn, or join key customer groups on LinkedIn and begin monitoring what they are saying;
- Monitor Slideshare and Scribd for any presentations or documents created by them and by events they may be attending;
- Follow customers and influencers on Twitter (News - Alert); retweet and/or favorite a tweet to see what they are saying;
- Figure out who your prospects trust and learn from, and who surrounds them socially as well.
While her suggestions may sound a tad “stalkerish,” there’s nothing wrong or illegal about it. You’re simply expanding your knowledge base about your prospects, so that when the time comes to have an actual conversation, you can bring some shared insight and knowledge to the table. That little bit of extra knowledge can mean the difference between “maybe” and “yes.”