My social networks have provided me with some great insights as of late. Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Focus, LinkedIn, Quora, Namesake, Youtube, Vimeo have all been great catalysts for helping me grow smarter and grow closer to some great people. Here’s how:
An Ear To The World
Using Twitter hash tags, or tools like FollowerWonk, you can find out what people are saying about you and your brand, or a competitor’s brand. Better yet, you can ask what people think, take polls and start discussions. You can find out what trends are impacting your customers, how much pain it’s causing and even what they are doing about it. To millennials this may seem basic, but boomers can really appreciate how amazing this is. This kind of research capability opens whole new worlds for commerce!
Widespread adoption of social media channels has created a whole new way for people to express themselves; to speak about who they are and what they are thinking and feeling. This too is an amazing addition to the sales community: to have a window into personalities, likes and dislikes and circles of influence. For buyers too: they can be much more prepared before they even begin the dance with sales. To borrow a phrase from Chris Brogan: social media is humanizing the web.
Social media is providing a way to initiate relationships like never before. With very little risk, you can connect with the people you decide you want to be around. People who talk about the things you are passionate about. Or you can step out and grow with people who think nothing like you. You can be a real person. You can give, take, share and be inspired. It’s like a global garden party that’s indexed for your speedy introduction to the groups you want to relate to!
My friend Matt Bertuzzi said something great the other day. We had been conversing online for a while, but when I met him face to face for the first time he said he felt like he already knew me in a sense. He said: “Because of social media, I feel like everybody is like 5 minutes from here.” What an incredible opportunity to build bonds and forge partnerships all over the world! We are brought closer inside, even if we are far apart outside.
Best of all, you can share humanity with people you would otherwise never have met. I have a friend in Dortmund Germany, Jon Henry, who is like a brother to me. We’ve never even seen each other in person, but we have built a friendship online that goes deeper than many of my local friendships. Social media creates a way for you to exchange ideas, support one another and build partnerships despite geographic boundaries… and in most cases, it doesn’t cost a dime!
If you’re not using social media in your sales efforts, what are you waiting for?
If you are, and you have success stories to share, please comment!
If we’re not already connected online, by all means connect with me: Don F Perkins
“Using Social Media For Sales Prospecting” by Anita Campbell
“Best Fits For Social Media In The Sales Cycle” by Chris Brogan
“How To Use Social Media To Drive Sales” by Marci Reynolds
“Social Media Is a Waste Of Time” by Malcolm Faulds