Why Sales People Need to Use Social Media
By David Steel – September 21, 2010
Back "in the day" the salesman went door to door selling everything from vacuum cleaners to manufacturing equipment. Catalogs were popular and every visit to the salesman or the catalog took valuable time away from your business.
Today in this highly competitive world the salesman still has to land the clients but can do so from a different venue. The internet. Social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, etc have opened up the market to the world rather than those within driving distance. Websites abound selling everything you may need to make a business grow.
Savvy executives shop the internet for supplies, manufacturers and employees much the same as anyone else would for a new mixer. Quality reviews, prices, comparisons are all available from the desk. It can't be more convenient than that. How many of these executives have your website, Twitter or other internet advertisement bookmarked?
In the days of the traveling salesman it was the salesman's responsibility to find out all he could about his customer. Where are you from, what do you do during your leisure hours, are you married, when is your birthday and all the other information that would help with PR. Today as we fill out our profiles on social networking sites, the salesman can find it in minutes and not be annoying with their long sales pitch and call on the potential or existing client.
This will create a better customer relationship with your clients and puts you on a more competitive edge. Your customers are already out there. Can you keep up with or find them?
Once the sales person has explored the web, he knows more about the client than a competitor would and the client knows enough about him that he won't converse with a competitor.
Expensive advertisement, direct mailing and meetings used to tie up a lot of time with a good percentage of positive response being in the 1-10% neighborhood. Newspapers are hungry right now because the savvy sales person uses the internet rather than the printed word. Chat rooms, social sites and blogs make the world available with a lot less expense and time.
When a customer was dissatisfied with a product, people or company talk would prevail to relay the negative messages. Today conversation face to face has decreased and reviews are up on the same social networking sites and the business owner has very little they can do about it. Often they don't know who posted the tweet or the blog. Feedback is much more prevalent than it used to be. Good sales techniques are all the more important to satisfy the visibility factor.
Get the information out there quickly. What used to take visit after visit to the customer can now be done with one stop on a website. Provide everything your customer needs to know to satisfy their needs.
What used to be a shopping expedition has turned into a buying expedition and the sales person with the most information out there will probably get the sale.