Should Social Media
By Mark Hunter
to say how cold-calling is dead and how in today’s environment, it
no longer can be cost justified. The answer in my book is both “yes”
and “no.” Let me deal with the “no” first.
In the past few
months, I’ve watched numerous salespeople shift all of their
prospecting efforts to developing social media with such vehicles as
Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook. The problem with this is it becomes
a giant time sucker. The payout of social media in terms of
developing sales short-term is very poor.
To develop a
social media strategy requires time, and I’m a firm believer it must
be incremental time. You can’t allow it to take away from your
current sales development strategy. Now, I’m astute enough to know
that this may change, but we’re not there yet. Salespeople who spend
their time dealing in the social media world at the expense of time
spent on normal sales development do so at great expense.
Now let me give
you a “yes” response to the use of social media and cold-calling.
First, keep in mind that cold-calling is rarely as cold as the term
implies. Unless you’re still living in the world of selling via a
phone bank sweatshop, then you understand that cold-calling is
really more about warm-calling. More often than not, you are
contacting people who already have some sort of knowledge of you or
relationship with you. In this context, social media is a great
supplemental vehicle – one that must be handled in the context of a
marketing strategy. To spend time tweeting away hour after hour or
visiting everyone’s Facebook page is not going to get you anywhere
exists in having a sound sales development strategy that is focused
on your core prospects. As an incremental process (on your own
time), develop a social media awareness with Linkedin, Facebook and
A key part of
your sales development strategy needs to include keeping your web
presence tight and focused. Don’t be easily swayed into believing
that your best approach is to be part of every social media website
available. If you can’t be a strong presence, don’t go there.
What I mean by a “strong presence” is that you are an active player
who can contribute or monitor the site at least four times per
week. For me, this means the only social media sites I use are
Twitter, Linkedin, and Facebook.
One very strict
rule to keep in mind is that social media should occupy no more than
15 minutes per day. Only in rare exceptions should you ever access
Facebook or Linkedin during your normal workday. Twitter is an
exception, but only to the degree that you can have a timely review
and distribution of messages. Fortunately, there are plenty of apps
you can use to automatically send out pre-loaded tweets during the
Social media has
a role in your sales strategy, but not to the abandonment of
time-tested elements such as cold-calling and meeting face-to-face
with customers. Begin today to grasp this so that you do not
jeopardize your sales success.
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