When I talk to salespeople, there is a lot of resistance to using Twitter. Twitter is noise, a waste of time. You might be surprised to know... I agree! Twitter is a waste of time—until you know how to use it effectively.
First, let’s start with what I see as the three mainstream reasons people and businesses use Twitter:
1) As a news source—Twitter diehards rely on Twitter as a news wire service to catch breaking news. Want to know what’s going on locally, nationally, and globally? Create a list of news outlets to follow.
2) As a source of information—Twitter is full of bloggers, consultants and other “experts.” By following people who share your interests (such as advertising, marketing, running, reading...or the industries of your key accounts), you will always be up on the latest information in your areas of interest.
3) To drive change—Social media changes the game; consumers expect the companies with whom they do business to monitor their accounts and interact. It provides a way for consumers to share their concerns with businesses large and small. Twitter gives a voice to the oppressed, the invisible, to those whose situations we were previously unaware.
But what if you’re a business? How do you use Twitter as part of your sales strategy?
1) To listen—Twitter gives businesses a way to monitor complaints from those who would otherwise remain silent, sit and stew, or quietly become someone else’s customer. This means the businesses have a chance to make things right or engage with the consumer to problem-solve. This is not a replacement for other methods of customer service. It is in addition.
2) To monitor—Twitter is a great way to monitor what the competition is doing, and to see what end-users are saying about your product/service and that of your competition.
3) To prospect—Twitter provides another means of identifying potential customers, discovering their interests and introducing them to your products or services.
In Part 2, we'll look at how media salespeople can monetize Twitter.
Kimberly Peek is a digital sales coach and online trainer at The Center for Sales Strategy.