7 months ago
February 21, 2017

How to Use Social Media for Sales Prospecting

Figuring out how to use social media for sales prospecting can give you a real edge.

Rhys Metler

The old methods of sales prospecting are not as effective as they once were. People aren’t always home or at their places of business, and when they are, they don’t always pick up the phone. Where are people today? They’re on social media, so figuring out how to use social media for sales prospecting can give you a real edge.

Before we talk about how to use social media for sales prospecting, let’s talk about how not to use social media for prospecting.

As a Closing Tool

Generally speaking, social media is not the best venue for closing a sale. It’s too open, too informal, and too easy to get off track. However, social media is a great opening tool. It’s a way to create warm leads with people you may or may not know in person.

How do you create a warm lead via social media?

Get involved. Create social media profiles that look professional, and then behave professionally as you interact with other people online. Be helpful and generous with your expertise, and people will come to you when they need your advice.

As a Platform for Pestering

Want to buy my products? You really should buy my products. Do you want to? Huh? Huh?

How likely is it that you’ll make friends with this sort of tactic? Put yourself in your contacts’ shoes and think about what they would like to hear from their colleagues each day. Nobody wants to be pestered into a business relationship, so avoid these kinds of posts at all cost.

As a Personal Social Outlet

Crossing business and personal life can be very tricky, especially on social media. If you’ve spent any time at all on social media, you’ve seen this happen. You get a Facebook friend request from your dentist, and suddenly you know all about his downer-of-a-vacation to his sister Sandy’s house and his bad reactions to seafood. Suddenly, things feel a little strange at your dental check-ups. Don’t put other people in uncomfortable situations.

There are a couple of ways to avoid this problem. One way is to have separate profiles for your professional and personal lives. Another way is to avoid using social media for personal reasons altogether. Whatever you decide, keep your professional life professional.

Now that you know what not to do, let’s look at a few things you can do to get started sales prospecting on social media.

Become a Thought Leader

If you can become known as “the one with all the answers,” warm openings will be a piece of cake on social media. Answer contacts’ questions when you know the answer, and add great content to your social media profiles on a regular basis.

Join Some Groups

Social media groups, like LinkedIn groups and Hashtag Chats, are a great way to meet people in your industry and make new contacts. Get involved with the discussions you find on these groups. As mentioned before, be kind and helpful as you interact with others, and give others credit where credit is due.

Start Conversations

Your social media conversations don’t have to always be about your company, services, or products. In fact, if you only talk about what you have to offer, you might to start like that pest we mentioned above. Try to strike a balance with your topics, but be sociable no matter what you’re talking about. Introduce people you know to each other, and you’ll find introductions coming your way, too. The more people you know, the more likely it is that you’ll be successful at sales prospecting on social media.

You don’t have anything to lose. Social media is free, and it could lead you to an increase in sales, contacts, and networking possibilities.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 11+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and two daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day, tropical vacations and cottaging.