One of the challenges that is faced by today’s Sales Professionals and our Clients / Prospective Clients is finding the time and energy to have a meaningful conversation. That is one of the main reasons why I am so active in Social Media…beyond the product that I sell (IT and HR Research)…I am building an ongoing conversation that goes beyond the 10, 15 or 30 minute conversation that I have with my customers!
I do find it challenging to create new and interesting content everyday to keep people engaged but the reality is, I have connected with nearly every current client that I have on LinkedIn and there is rarely a day goes by that I am not having a conversation that brings me back to a Post or a series of posts that I have put right here.
Does this mean that EVERY Sales Professional needs to do this? Well if you have the commitment and dedication to follow through with what you start…than go for it but my strongest recommendation is that if you are going to start a Blog, or start Tweeting or posting to what ever Social Media Network that connects you to your customers…then look at what your ROI will be. If you are selling Widgets at 45 cents each…a Blog is not likely the way to connect…unless you and your customers generally have a common interest (ie Golf, Fishing, Hunting, Kids etc).
Don’t start something that you are not comfortable with…that will be the nail in the coffin towards a successful building of your “Personal Brand” and will make it harder and harder to want to maintain the time investment that it will take to both drive traffic and keep your readers engaged.
What I have done, since the very beginning is set up certain days for different types of relevant and timely content. Over time what I post has evolved to what you see today. I occasionally mix things up (but I then struggle getting back on schedule).
Social Media is an amazing way to connect with your customers, on their time. It is far less obtrusive than calling them daily, pestering their inbox with emails and generally being a typical “Old School Sales Guy/Gal”.
To build a meaningful conversation though…there has to be two parts to the content and service that you provide…and at the same time…it makes it hard to just “turn off” and go away. I have had clients reach out at 4AM (they know that I am still in bed but know that I will respond as soon as I get the message).
Leverage your Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and especially LinkedIn for maximum interaction. If you are looking to grow your connections, look at a way of measuring your success like Naymz.com, Empire Avenue, Klout or Kred…stay honest with what you are doing and it will give you a relatively accurate number as to your connections (that is not without saying that there are a lot of people that are playing the numbers game building artificial “credibility” by linking, selling and begging for +K when they are in no way influential about the topic.
Well, this was really about my fellow Sales Professionals…but what about the customers out there? How can they leverage a better social connection with their Sales Reps and Account Managers to maximize their relationships? Engage them, connect with them and if they don’t connect back…how easy will it be for you to get help when you need it? This is a 24/7/365 world we live in. The investment in Social Media from a personal perspective is FREE…if their day ends at 5PM…but yours goes on until 9 or 10…there will come a time when you need help and they are disconnected…find a rep and a company that respects you and your company enough to provide you better service, the way you want it!
Well I am off to get ready for another work week…the Count Down to finally getting some Vacation Time is starting…what will I do and where will I go? Suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
Chris J Powell