The Right-Brain 'Art' of Sales vs. the Left-Brain 'Analytic' – Musings on Media from the 'Sell' Side, with Occasional Forays into Music…and Wine
The New B2B: Social Media as Your New ‘Sales Tool’…
In most of 2008/2009, very few on the Client side really considered THEMSELVES as users of Social Media tools, let alone as being a focus for their use. [Used by you on the Sales side that is, to be in dialogue…with them.] For most people on the Client side, social media & all its associations was perceived as being intended mainly for reaching their audience of potential customers; i.e. their Target Market, wasn’t it? Yes then, wrong now in my view.
After personally having sold Social Media ad/mktg programs—both RFP-style Media Buys, and Custom integrated programs—using Viral Video, Incentives, Contests, AdNet Targeting, Customer Acquisition, Sponsorships, App Installs & on & on, I believe the question can now also be reversed.
Actually, the question MUST be reversed: if you are not thinking of ways to use these tools in your Sales effort, you are going to be behind in the game soon in my mind. Maybe very soon.
The reasons for this are of critical importance in all of our Sales careers:
Social Media is well, frankly not like other Media. Demonstrating your proficiency in it is mandatory, if you are going have any chance in selling it.
This is because of the asymmetrical, non-linear, exponential ways that the emerging arena that Social Media is, can & will be used.
More, as we’ll see in Part II later this week, it simultaneously should build your credibility with your Client [used with some discipline, of course], and ideally your place as a Trusted Advisor/Consultant with them.
Finally, it may be obvious to state, but all of this is magnified, because in most other areas of Media sales…your proficiency or understanding of the Media vehicle you are selling is assumed. [In other words, most people can read, so selling Magazine space would not be questioned. And anyone can be a Couch Potato, or listen to Radio in their car, so no one would even think to question those either. NOT so with Social Media!]
For me then, the question[s] become: Can you use those same Social Media tools to instead facilitate YOUR Sales Process? Use these tools to reach Decision Makers, instead of the Masses? Identify new potential prospects? Raise your visibility/profile, build trust, and become a consulting advisor in your Clients’ eyes, lifting you above the ‘mere’ Salespeople [those who are not yet well-versed] you are competing against? I think the answer is “Yes.”
Yes is my answer, but perhaps in a different way than you might be thinking. While most current examples using social media are ones of a Client reaching out to a Customer [or potentially millions of them in a mass way, i.e. B2C], the new approach I am discussing here is in effect YOU as a singular Sales talent seeking THEM out as a Client [i.e., B2B.] So, what needs to be done here, is use less the ‘Sharing’ elements of social media to achieve broad reach, but to use the elements in reverse, in achieving a ‘Focused’ dialogue, with a single person or group or dep’t. In other words, using the same tools, with a different approach. Can it be done? ~~~
B2C = Sharing – Viral – Outreach: One to Many
Current Usage of Social Media Tools in Mktg
B2B = Focused – Directed: One to One [or One to Select Few]
Opposite 'Narrowcast' Use of Social Media Tools in Sales Process
The New Concept: [as applied to Major/National Account Client Sales]
For those of us on the Sales side, it is time to not only know these tools, and use them…it is also time to flip them around, and use them in our Sales Development effort, for prospecting, accessing Decision Makers, qualifying Leads, etc. But what are some of the ways to do that?
Coming up in Part II, I’ll look at some actual ideas & examples of how to put this into practice. Thanks for reading!