Is social media marketing corrupting your sales force?

Is social media marketing corrupting your sales force?

Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, You Tube, Tumblr blah blah blah – corrupting your sales force!?

Before you all get super riled up and start letting your blood pressure colour your face, take a moment to consider this…

Social media marketing has become vital – NO question – but lets keep in the ‘marketing basket’.

This blog is aimed at sales professionals and managers that currently manage a new/next generation type of sales force and will know what i mean if you have found yourself “this new generation of sales people know squat about real hard nose, get your elbows dirty sales!” …

The reality is that your new generation sales team is young and more tech savvy then ever before. They are aware of all the social media options and all the shortcuts and have made a lifestyle out of doing as little as possible to achieve a result. Lazy? perhaps… but more likely misguided.

The common mistake made by the new sales force is thinking they are ‘marketers/advertisers’ but with better suits. The only way to get the best performance out of your sales force will be take away the social media marketing toys and let them stand on their own two feet. The beauty of social marketing is that when you set it up correctly and target it properly, it becomes quite easy to maintain and therefore is not something a sales person needs to dedicate 30% of their day to. RATHER, the sales force needs to focus on developing a near tactile relationship with prospects and turn your ‘social’ media contacts into ‘personal’ media contacts.

How do you achieve this?

Where do i start… the options are endless but the first and most important job a sales person must do is QUALIFY and CATEGORISE prospects.

QUALIFY = is it really a potential sale one day? (prospect)
If not, burn it right??… wrong. Everyone is a prospect IF you categorise properly!
EXAMPLE: the product of service may not be of interest to the person you’re speaking to but it might be of interest to their loved ones, friends, or workmates. Better still their REAL LIFE social networks, i.e. sporting groups, book clubs, pottery or cooking class!?

DON’T FORGET – the reason why online social networks thrive is because humans are naturally craving social interaction and connection so try to remember that the person you’re speaking to (in any sales capacity; face to face, electronic or voice) has real life connections and if you play your cards right, you may get an invitation into that exclusive group where the sales competition will be YOU and only YOU. When you do infiltrate a group, pretend you’re a new kid at school at first and try not to make an ass out of yourself from day one, otherwise no one will want to be your friend 🙁
CATEGORISE: As you saw above, there are direct sale prospects and there are what we call REFERRAL PROSPECTS. Referral prospects don’t want your product but may recommend it to someone they know who does.

EXAMPLE: A middle aged woman doesn’t need the latest anti balding cream for men, but you know what… her partner does and she may give you his details so that you can raise the topic with him and she doesn’t have to be the bad guy!

these examples are specific and not universal but they are served to you as an invitation to open your mind to a wider possibility because lets face it, there are a lot more sales people and competing companies eating from the same orange tree so you need to learn to get every bit of juice out of the oranges you have.

Categorising goes much further and into a lot more detail – here we are talking about just a few examples of how properly and thoughtfully categorising a prospect could potentially lead to more sales.

The only way to achieve this is to break into the real life social networking world of your customers – empower and encourage your sales people to not just electronically LIKE a prospects page but actually LIKE them. Don’t just be a fan on a page, be a real FAN. The social media storm is the online letterbox and its full of spam – you need to break through the electronic haze and bring something tangible to the table. If the customer does not taste, touch, hear or smell your product then they will find it harder to make a connection with you and you will quickly become a random friend whose existence will ultimately be questioned and likely removed. Humans have 5 senses that they use to make a connection with things and people. Ask yourself, how many of these senses are your sales force appealing to? Are you really doing all that you can or are we just doing what is easy? AND if its easy, then you can bet everyone is doing it.

Do something different. stand out from the crowd. Tell your sales force to call people and tell a knock knock joke before you try and sell them something they already decided they didn’t want as soon as they heard the script! We’ve forgotten how to talk to people and that’s the problem. Its apparent in how our sales people are being trained that something is missing and people don’t wanna hear it.

Social media marketing may be all we have left to use if we dont reclaim old school sales methods.

Sales success 101 “the customer buys YOU first”!
Think about that the next time you approach a prospect with a “deal that’s too good to refuse” – they will refuse it because a person they dont know or like is trying to shove it at them. Pretend your on a first date… dont you want to impress the girl before you go for the kiss? try taking it and you’ll likely get slapped about – you deserved it! Play your cards right, keep cool, patient, slow down be sweet, charming, funny, polite, neat and clean – now we’re talking smooch material!

More to come.. good luck and keep smiling!

By Elias Jahjah