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Selling In a Social World

May 16 2011

social media puzzle

Guest contributor Clark Alexander of Roost said:

Part of the fun with social media is the ability to find old friends, family and coworkers and hear about what they have been up to. I connected with an old coworker from my days selling IT consulting services back in the late 90s and it got me thinking about how social networking has changed the way I sell.


Back then I relied solely on our CRM database, I think at the time it was ACT Customer Management, which was the core of my daily activity. Fast forward to 2011 where the social Web has revolutionized they way we communicate. I now find that my social networks on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn act as kindling to a significant number of the partnership discussions we have going on. By no means have my social networks replaced the need for offline sales management tool, but they certainly have made relationship maintenance much easier and much more effective.

On the first day of my first sales job I was asked to read Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People," the social Web can help you implement a lot of Dale's principles if done the right way!

Here are what I believe to be the key principles to focus on:

1. Create your own emotions.

"If you want to be enthusiastic, act enthusiastic."

I can't stress enough how important it is to set a tone for your social marketing efforts. People want to engage with positive and engaging people, add personality and humour to your posts, convey your approachability through photos, and don't be afraid to stir the pot a little bit to get the dialogue going.

2. Focus outward, not inward.

"You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you."

Get off your soapbox and focus on content and questions that are meaningful and engaging to your audience. Social marketing is not an infomercial; it is a way of creating relationships higher in the sales funnel.

3. So, what's in it for me?

"There is only one way... to get anybody to do anything. And that is by making the other person want to do it."

Don't let feedback go unattended! Be last to respond and be timely in your responses. Why? It shows people you are paying attention and that you care about the conversation. It will make people want to interact with you more, and, let's be honest, who doesn't like seeing that little red number by the glob on their Facebook account? Interaction begets interaction!

Learn more about Social Media tools.