Why Social Media Alone Won’t Ensure Success in a Sales 2.0 World
I am a bit hesitant to admit it, but I was always rooting for Wile E. Coyote. You remember him right, the poor beast who spent years trying to catch the Roadrunner, generally failing in dramatic fashion. Then, in the final episode of the cartoon, after two decades of trying, he finally did catch the crafty bird and his last action was to hold up a sign saying,
“Okay wise guys, you always wanted me to catch him. Now what do I do?”
Crazy, but this episode reminds me of today’s prospecting environment. I don’t know about you but I’m often overwhelmed by the sheer amount of networking we’re supposed to be plugged into? It seems that we are inundated with new and “must join” options every day in this Sales 2.0 world. If you’re anything like me, you currently have at least three open programs on your computer or tablet, monitoring your various connections – not to mention the ever-present phone always at the ready for the next hot prospect.
Social Media, like so many new technologies (from the antiquated beeper to my “Charlton Heston, pry it out of my cold dead hands” iPhone, to the hottest, fastest tablet computer) was supposed to make our lives easier, more productive, and more efficient than before. Ha! What technology has really done is let me work more hours, from more locations than was ever before possible. The pace at which I now have to work and the requirement for effective multitasking have been taken to new heights, and I get far less sleep then I ever did before.
Layer the various Social Media options on top of the always-on technologies and things are really getting out of control. Like many sales people, I’m on LinkedIn daily, but if I am not careful, I can literally spend hours on the site doing “research” and before I know it the workday is long over. And in order to capitalize on Social Media, we feel like we have to blog and tweet, and post updates and comments or we will miss the deluge of clients just waiting to find us, and ultimately buy something.
Here’s the good news, prospects really are out there and our Social Media efforts CAN pay big dividends – IF we are ready when we connect with them. In order to BE READY when we do connect with prospects, it is essential to remember that in order to turn a contact into a sale, we will eventually have to talk with someone. Increasingly I find that there is so much focus on how to get the prospect’s attention that like Wyle E. Coyote, many sales people aren’t certain what to do once they have it. To capitalize on your Social Media efforts, I recommend we keep these three points in mind:
1. Know what comes next.
Don’t wait to get prospects to think about the next steps in your process. What should that initial phone/meeting look like? What do you need to know in order to qualify an opportunity?
2. Continue to provide value.
Success in blogging, tweeting, etc. requires that we provide something useful to the reader. Selling is no different, so it is essential that we continue to focus on how we can bring value to the prospect once we engage in the sales conversation
3. Be prepared to take the conversation to the next level by learning about them.
Don’t just repeat what prospects read in your blogs or tweets or launch into your pitch. If you got connected, they probably know something about you, be certain to learn about them. If we don’t understand them and their problems, we really can’t bring any additional value.
While I fully embrace Social Media, as you can see by the fact that I have written and posted a blog, I am also acutely aware of the need to be fully prepared in order to capitalize on this effort. At AXIOM we want to avoid the fate of Wyle E. Coyote, so we are prepared for the next conversation with our prospects. Are you?