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Richard LoPresti

How Relationship-Based Sales Professionals Should Use Social Media

May 02 2012, 04:32 PM by

Social media isn’t just for marketing. Now, it’s equally as important to use the medium for sales. A relationship-based sales professional should be using social media to enhance communication.

If you doubt that sales can use social media, then consider that more customer service platforms designed exclusively for sales are now also including social media in their networks – like Zoho CRM. If you take a closer look, you’ll see that almost all the more elite systems of social media monitoring, CRM, branding, intelligence and outreach also market to sales professionals. And the smart teams and companies are responding because they know the industry has changed dramatically.

Old modes of communication clearly have changed. If you want to send an effective message to someone, you most likely mail the letter. So do you email the message or hand deliver it? If you’re looking to build business, do you even try cold calling? How effective are these modes of communication? Mailing the letter will cost you money in supplies including letterhead, envelopes, ink and stamps. Cold calling costs in the time it takes to blindly reach out to people.

These methods weren’t that effective pre-social media, and so they’re likely to be even less effective now. And if you’re going to try and cold call, you’re going to offend people with a lack of creativity and trying to assume they have time to hear from someone they don’t know and did not solicit.

If you’re persistent though, there is no question you will get business out of the aforementioned modes of communication. Sales is a numbers game, but why use a means that isn’t effective or efficient? Why make an effort to reach out to 100 people to maybe have one person say yes while the other 99 now don’t respect you or worse have already forgotten you? Chances are that the traditional letter that you mailed is going to get thrown in the trash.

So what can you do? You go where people are consuming and communicating their information. You go to the social networks! People are communicating through social networks. They want to connect. They want to link up with you on LinkedIn. They want you to talk with them on Twitter. They want to connect and see who you are and what you care about on Facebook. They want useful information to share; they want to see the old way of doings things repackaged into a creative way of doing things. They want you to make them care and get them excited.

The important part for a sales person to realize is that social can be used for business. With social, there is so much relevant public information out there that allows you to approach your prospect more effectively – and with higher success rates. To do this, you need to develop and brand an informed persona and craft custom messages. Create messages your customer can’t say no to. This method allows you to approach higher quality prospects and turn them into well-qualified leads and more importantly clients.

And you can start right here. Start by sharing this post across your social networks. But don’t just post it without adding something unique that tells people about you and your business – always offer your own thoughts to make a shared post unique and get people to look at you.

Posted in Tips & Resources, Social Media, Online Branding

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