Fifteen minutes is all it takes to turn boring customer sales calls into well-informed, highly-relevant, personal conversations.
What separates great sellers from the pack is their deep knowledge of a customer’s business. The trick for any salesperson – regardless of tenure & industry – is finding the time necessary to learn about a customer, and using those insights to create impactful appointments.
Here are three easy ways to use social media to learn about customers while saving time – by bringing timely information right to you, so you don’t need to hunt for it.
#1. Search for your customer’s social media profiles.
How much would you pay to know your customer’s favorite baseball team? Which projects are a priority for the business? Or better yet, which vendor they prefer over another? It’s likely your customers are sharing this information via social media – the question is, are you listening?
Your first task: identify key social media accounts. It will take about 5 minutes to discover the important ones. To make the best use of your time, focus on key accounts first. Corporate Twitter handles, CEO blogs, corporate Facebook pages, LinkedIN company pages, and even YouTube channels. And the best way to find these accounts is good ol’ Google. So fire it up. Search for your customer’s name, and record what you find. Bonus: Search for your key contacts too if you have the time.
#2. Subscribe & follow social accounts
Now that you’ve found your customer‘s profiles, make sure you don’t miss an update. While it‘s true you don’t need an account for most social networks to view content on them, you‘ll save lots of time when you use an account. How? You’ll avoid the need to visit each profile. Using Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIN accounts makes sure timely content appears right in your main feeds. For corporate blogs and YouTube channels, sign up for email updates. For Facebook pages, like them. And for LinkedIN company pages, follow them.
This is critical: If you are going to follow accounts on Twitter, make sure your own account is ship-shape. You need to use your full name, have a proper picture, and offer an accurate and informative bio that ideally that includes a mention of your company. Why is this important? As soon as you follow someone, they get an email that includes all of that information. If you don’t include it, they can’t develop a positive impression of you.
Or make the right decision to follow you back.
#3. Scan your inbox and feeds
This step will change every sales appointment you have moving forward. It’s likely that before any appointment you Google your customer. From now on, you‘ll check your inbox for new blog posts and updates from YouTube, scan your Twitter feed for timely updates from your customers, and check Facebook for new stories.
When you find something interesting and relevant, make a note of it – and then bring it up with your customer. They’ll be delighted.
Social leads to C-level meetings
A seasoned (and very successful) seller taught me “How you speak to a customer is who they will allow you to see.” When you talk about product speeds and feeds, you talk with front-line management. When you demonstrate knowledge about a customers’ business at a holistic level, you show customers you‘re serious about strategy – and need to speak with someone “upstairs.”
Social media is the best way to learn what matters to your customers right now. And it’s free!
Here’s a handy version of this post as a presentation. Feel free to use and download it. You can make it full-screen by clicking on the icon in the bottom-right corner of the slideshare embed.