Social Selling 101: Twitter for Salesmen | Sales and Marketing
What?! Use Twitter to sell something like construction equipment or trucks? If your salesmen think you’re crazy for suggesting this, it’s time for your entire team to look a little more closely about how social selling – and, yes, even Twitter – can boost your dealership’s ability to meet and engage with prospective customers. Time for sales and marketing to join forces.
The foundation of all social selling on Twitter is brevity. With just 140 characters at your disposal, you have to think strategically about what aspects of your sales and marketing process lend themselves to short, to-the-point messages.
Twitter helps sales reps build their personal brand.
It’s a person-to-person communication medium, perfect for reinforcing each rep’s personality as well as establishing their product-related expertise. Share your thoughts on industry news, applaud a customer’s business milestone or, yes, occasionally tweet something “salesy.” Share
links to special deals your dealership is offering, product information, other relevant content Be interested in your followers and those you follow.
Twitter is all about engagement, so make sure your sales people promote their Twitter handle and “follow me” (something about building number of followers by asking for it). As with all social sites, include a great, relevant photo with their profile, and a bio that points up their expertise in construction equipment or trucking.
Whatever channels your salesmen use to contact potential customers – a phone call, email, direct mail, LinkedIn – they can tweet their target a “heads-up,” alerting them an important message is on its way.
First you have to get your target’s attention.
Use Twitter’s search feature to find your top sales and marketing prospects, whether they’re individual contractors and construction firms or owner/operator truckers and fleet operations. Once you’ve identified a decision-maker you’d like to meet, follow them on Twitter.
Hopefully, they’ll follow you back. That way, they’ll see the messages you tweet, and you can send them individual direct messages, too. If they don’t follow you in return, you can still send them a direct message by putting “d” before their Twitter handle.
If your sales people follow multiple individuals within a target company, aggregate what you learn from their tweets and updates to give you a better feel for what’s timely and important company-wide.
Don’t follow only your prospective customers.
Social media experts suggest you’re smart to follow all your existing customers as well as key prospects and named accounts. This enables you to see what’s on their minds as they post new tweets. Follow your competition, to see what they’re sharing. Follow your OEMs and other dealership partners.
Tweet efficiently. Make a plan.
Identify what you want to accomplish – increasing your number of followers, engagement, click-thru rates, website traffic, etc. Actual sales may not be a realistic goal, but Twitter-friendly social selling techniques can certainly help you lead people farther along the sales and marketing process, building brand awareness and authority as you go. You can also purchase paid ads, so talk to your marketing experts about whether this makes for your dealership.
Twitter is just one of your team’s sales and marketing tools. Sales reps need to make good use of their time in order to generate the most productive results, so invest in technology that helps sort and track conversations. That ensures your reps can always respond to questions or other inquiries right away. If they don’t, their reputation – and your dealership’s – will suffer.
How will you know if your social selling efforts on Twitter are paying off? Just generally building brand awareness has value, but at some point the time you’re spending on Twitter should generate verifiable leads and further their engagement with your dealership. Otherwise it’s just entertainment. But remember that it’s a building process and you can’t expect to see big, definitive results overnight.
Follow these steps, and your salesmen will be using Twitter to find more great prospects, follow them to learn more about them and invite them to follow you can engage with them via your tweets. This could be the beginning of a long and rewarding relationship.