Twitter for Sales

I never believed in Twitter as a sales tool. but what i noticed as soon as i started using it was how it subtly made my relationships that much stronger. my conversations with prospects on Twitter reinforced our commonality about business topics we both cared about, which then translated into powerful phone conversations. And there’s data to prove this tactic works: 73% of u.s. online consumers trust information and advice from Twitter.

Keep in mind, I’m not the most social media geeked-out person, I simply started using Twitter out of necessity. over time it became an incredibly powerful sales tool, and i found myself checking it 10 times a day.

here are three sales challenges my sales reps and i constantly face — and how Twitter helps solve them.

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Challenge 1: Putting Your Agenda Aside

When you’re on the phone with prospects or leads, they’re eager to hear your pitch. but we need to resist that. sales reps often get comfortable with their winning pitch and want to use that on every prospect, rather than adapt to the unique interests and challenges of that prospect.

Solution: Use Twitter to Inform Sales Process

By using social tools like Twitter, you get an idea of what’s actually important to the prospect. by showing them subtle support through a retweet, or engaging them in conversation that has nothing to do with your agenda, you end showing them that you have their interests, challenges, and needs in mind, as opposed to your own. This provides a greater window of opportunity for you to adjust the actual phone pitch to your liking since you’ve already opened the relationship personally on Twitter, or by using information you’ve learned about that contact from Twitter.

Challenge 2: Staying in Touch with Converted Customers

It’s important for a sales rep to continue communication even after customer conversion. Our customers should be just as valuable to our sales reps as our prospects. It’s difficult to work prospects and stay in touch with customers.

Solution: Use Twitter to Maintain Communication

While a conversation on Twitter is not as powerful as a conversation on the phone, 140 characters is all you need to continue to show your support and care for a customer’s success. For example, at ApexMedia, i use our social tools to create a filter where I can see every time one of my converted customers has mentioned “landing pages” or “Digital marketing.” it delights me to see them using our software, and enables me to stay in touch with them. This also helps in future sales conversations because my prospects see my continued support even after a deal closes. Here’s an example:

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Challenge 3: Being the First to Respond

often times, leads assigned to me or my sales reps are tweeting about a specific challenge or interest they currently have. Sometimes, these are posted in the context of comparing ApexMedia to competitors or simply about our software in general. Regardless of what industry you’re in, if a question is asked about how you compare to a competitor, that’s a huge opportunity to gain the advantage of being the first one to respond.

Solution: Set Up Filters & Alerts

When monitoring Twitter, set up a process for getting alerts every time one of your sales leads is talking about you or a competitor. While you could hack your way into this through google Alerts, a better approach is to focus on more real-time and human engagement. For instance, using real-time alerts can help you be the first one to respond in any conversation. (ApexMedia customers, simply setup a list that sends you an email alert anytime one of your leads mentions you or a competitor on Twitter).

not only does responding provide a competitive advantage by being the first to engage in the conversation, it also reinforces class and integrity by responding tactfully — perhaps even using the opportunity to ask followup questions about where the prospect’s challenges or needs. That way you understand where their challenges lie before you simply try to state an answer, or better yet, you can refer them to a past client who had similar challenges that you helped solve.

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