All I need is a Smartphone and these Apps.
The prospecting landscape has changed. There is no doubt that the integration of social media and mobile technology has digitized the modern Business Development Professional.
The advancement in tools for today's professional representative has given us a whole new way to connect, be seen and cultivate leads. Here are my favorite daily sales tools and tips on the use.
I start off in the morning doing a quick scan of Twitter and LinkedIn. I post content and scan Tweets of people and businesses I'm connected with and want to do business with.
I like and comment as often as possible. If you don't know what to say. A simple "Like" will notify the user of your presence. I'm alerting them I'm here and I'm interested. Don't be a nuisance about it. If you're excessive prospects will block you. And rightfully so.
I recommend checking the feeds again at lunch. Look for trending hashtags. Use hashtags with any content you post. Give a Like on your prospects information or add a comment. Be social and be the expert.
After I visit a new prospects place of business on a planned cold call I'll check to see if they have a Twitter account and I'll follow them. I'll do the same using my business account as well.
If they follow my back I'll send them a quick thank you note. Keep it simple. Not salesy.
Twitter is a perfect tool for any Business Development Professional. Create your profile and start publishing content. Short articles, links, blogs, videos or quotes. Whatever you want to do. This is your media channel. Remember to keep it professional.
Twitter is instant and what's happening in the moment. You should Tweet frequently if you want to be seen. The Tweets go by fast. There's automation tools you can use to help manage your social media accounts.
2) LinkedIn Navigator
This is the paid version of LinkedIn. I use LinkedIn Navigator App because it allows me to create Leads and Accounts of prospects I'm interested in. I can save them like a CRM.
It also lets you create posts and write full articles. It requires a little more thought Vs in the moment like Twitter. When you combine the two together it’s a perfect combination of digital business tools for sharing links and content. There's a science to this if you're doing it consistently. And it works magic.
What's really cool about LinkedIn Navigator is the fact that it curates prospects posts and automatically places it in my feed. It shows information I might be interested in and alerts me. I can like it or add a comment. I can even use prospects latest news and send it in a InMail...which is LinkedIn's email messaging platform. I can send a quick note or give a congratulation. Be social, not a pest.
This is like Twitter in the fact they are seeing my notifications. It's just another friendly reminder I'm here. I can also follow prospects or request a direct connection.
I only send a connection request if I've made alternate attempts to reach out, been to their office, know a mutual acquaintance, a 3rd party or I've been referred.
LinkedIn is a real prospecting tool. You can learn how to send messages with value. Not a sales pitch. A friendly message with a possible referral. A note about something in common or mention a group you both belong to.
When prospecting for new accounts I'll send a connection request with a note and mention mutual business networking opportunities. The only thing I'm selling here is the connection request. Not a product or service.
I do all of this after a planned-on site visit in a territory I manage. You'll find some business development and digital marketing representatives skip the cold call now and go right for the connection request. They will also mention some type of mutual benefit, referral or value add to gain attention.
It's all good but If I can do an onsite visit I feel it breaks the ice. Here’s why. When asking for the connection they now have your business card in hand. And if they manage the Twitter account they may have seen your notification when you started following them as well. To me this shows my interest and now it's not as cold. I'll ask what their preferred method is for networking. i.e. face to face, Twitter or LinkedIn. But again, no sales pitch. Just selling the connection.
Then there is Skype. Another great app. Do you need to have a quick video call with a client or the boss to discuss business or strategy? Maybe it's days later after prospecting and you want to take the meeting from the road.
Skype is great for a conference call or text messaging as well. I use this app every day. It's not necessarily a tool I'm using during the actual prospecting stage but I bring it up because it has added value to my daily routine in the field.
If I have a scheduled meeting and it's not at the customers office I can take the video call from Skype.
...You must keep track of everything you’re doing. I keep it simple when it comes to what I use.
I record my customers information, address, email, Twitter info, notes, talks, follow ups, tasks, to do's, reminders, etc.
It's not the type of CRM that's important here. It's just the fact you need one. I've used many of them. Web based, software based, etc. All I'm doing is recording customer information, setting up reminders and follow up tasks.
If I'm using the CRM I'm probably in follow up mode. I'll use my Gmail combined with the phone and my social media accounts. I mix it up. That's all part of the follow up process.
5) Smart Phone
The smart phone combines it all. I can map out my day using Google. I get the time and the distance and can plan routes for prospecting.
I can check my email, social media, CRM, Skype and it still functions as a phone when I need to make a few calls.
The smart phone has completely revolutionized the way I operate. I even curate all my social media and create most all my new posts and images from apps on my phone.
It's the most valuable item on the list. It brings it all together. I even drafted this blog from my Smartphone using Gmail.
That's it. Pretty simple stuff. This is a very high overview of the daily use. If you’re not up to speed with all this and how it integrates with the sales process find a seasoned sales mentor or feel free to reach out.
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