The days of being a pushy used-car type salesperson are over, and you have social media to thank for that! Since the days of Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+, the way we interact with salespeople, and marketing in general, has changed. People are way more savvy about filtering out messages they don’t want. People don’t want to be “sold” anymore. Plus social networks have made the Rolodex virtually obsolete. Now, account reps can stay in touch with their contacts in a more genuine, friendlier, and effective way. Here are some basic rules to follow when trying to close business with the help of social media:
Listen to Your Audience
Social media has given us all the ability to become the next James Bond. The more you know about your prospects and clients, the more you can engage them in conversation. What are your prospects talking about on social network sites? What are their personal interests? When is their birthday? What do they do on the weekends? Be careful, though. There is a fine line between being a high-tech spy and a genuine creeper! Just stash all that information away and present it at the right time. Maybe send them a gift on their birthday. Talk about their favorite sports teams. Ask them questions based on what you already know about them through your surveillance. Knowing how someone will answer a question always makes asking it a whole lot easier.
Connect and Engage
As you probably already know, it is very rare to close a deal with just one touch. It takes multiple touches before a prospect learns that they can trust what you have to say. Many experts believe that seven is the magic number. A modern day sales star uses social media sites to get those touches in. Start with friending them on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Then try commenting on their posts. Take a genuine interest in what they have to say. Hopefully, in a short time they will begin commenting on your posts. Tag their name on posts and re-tweets so they can see that you are talking about them. After a while, you should begin to see a true relationship begin to blossom. Now you are ready to move on to the next step: a CNA or Client Needs Analysis.
Question the Confession
When you’re sitting in that first meeting with the prospect, shut up and listen. Easier said than done, for sure! But, the more the client is talking about themselves, their interests, and their needs, the more answers you will be able to have about how you can help them achieve their goals. Real closers listen specifically for problems that they can solve. If the prospect is not presenting problems that require solutions, dig deeper. Every business has areas where they would like to grow or improve. Ask the hard questions to get down to the nitty-gritty.
Here is an interesting infograph from HardCoreCloser.com that presents the information in a visually pleasing way. They offer many great tips on their site on how to close business. How are you using social media for business prospecting?