Shock Therapy for Social Media
Every January, we get to reinvent ourselves from a sales standpoint. The slate is wiped clean and everyone starts at zero. If you want to have the same results you had last year, keep doing things the same way. But most people want to grow and the way to grow is to approach things fresh and differently. I know, it sounds like … work. That’s because it is. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun with it.
One area that we can always improve on (unless you are the great Dana Zezzo, The Man From Jetline) is the circus known as social media. I suggest you take a hard look at who you are on Facebook and LinkedIn and give your profiles some shock therapy.
About a year ago, I held what I called my Power Sales Summit in Los Angeles. I got together 45 HALO salespeople and we shared best practices for a full day. This session’s key topic was "Using Social Media To Land New Clients," and we discussed, all day long, for about six hours, different methods to more effectively reach and communicate with clients and prospects, to grab the attention of the marketing managers of the world and further your relationships with them. It was a great day, and for many, an uncomfortable day of learning just how powerful social media is and how you can harness that power and prosper from it. Less than 10 percent of your peers are doing so. If you are using Facebook and LinkedIn and Pinterest to penetrate accounts, then you are ahead of 90 percent of your competition. If that’s not Bold, Different and Memorable, then I don’t know what is!
Don’t buy into the "rule" that Facebook is personal and LinkedIn is for business. As Dana Zezzo says, “Go where you clients are! And they are on Facebook!” Most people are on Facebook and/or LinkedIn, fewer are on YouTube and Pinterest. Get these profiles set up or updated. Most of the marketing staff of this world are 25 years old and younger. If you aren’t set up to tweet—which is how they communicate—you will be left in the dust with the 8-track, the Betamax and the Twinkie. (Oh wait, the Twinkie came back. Just one of Life’s Little Miracles…).
Join LinkedIn groups that interest you and your customers! Again, listen and watch and, when appropriate, offer to help. This is soft selling, but can be very effective and won’t offend anyone. Start a board on Pinterest. Increase your presence by retweeting tweets, liking comments and praising others. Respond to comments and comment on other posts. You can even try your hand at posting a new discussion each week. Try posting images and finally, try posting videos on YouTube.
Be known as a Promotional Products Authority, the kind of person your clients and prospects trust and admire. Position yourself in this light by the things you post and comment on. Participate in this global, online community. It’s an increasingly busy society we are part of and clients often don’t even have time to see you. For some, sales has become a virtual experience, and you need to know how to survive and thrive in this impersonal environment. The way to do so is … to make it personal.
In next month’s column, I’ll share five ways to use LinkedIn to obtain new business. It’s a Brave, New World. Don’t get left out, peeps!
Rick Greene, MAS, is the Western Regional Vice-President of HALO Branded Solutions, a Past President of SAAC and the Editor of SAACTimes. His comic fantasy novels “Boofalo!” and “Shroom!” are available on Amazon.com.