Research is key to using social media to enhance sales. Understanding your client and their requirements is absolutely necessary in any environment. Most markets are saturated and competition is fierce, so sometimes the biggest problem can be actually getting your foot in the door, regardless of how good your service or solution is.
So where does social media come in? Well, people buy from people. The more engaging you are, the more gravitas you have; and the more familiar you are with a client, the better. With some of our longest standing clients and contacts, we're familiar with them personally; from their birthdays to what they do on the weekends even their favourite holiday destinations (and vice versa). These clients trust us and our consultants and we have a harmonious, respectful working relationship. These types of clients are a dream to work in partnership with; however it typically takes years to build a relationship to this level.
The good news is social media can speed up this process, helping you to engage more with existing clients and bring on new ones. The below social media channels can give you a fantastic insight into potential clients before you even meet or contact them. From gaining an insight in to their interests, hobbies and passions to seeing what to what they look like, what they sound like, even what their body language is like and how they come across!
The below social media channels are all points of reference to help you do this:
LinkedIn: Look for any synergies that could be the topic of conversation – have they just been promoted, how long have they been at their current company, where did they work before, what common connections do you share? All good talking points to project yourself as an industry expert.
Twitter: Just the bio alone will give you an overview of their personality, are they a dog lover, rugby fanatic, travel enthusiast or a keen cook? All good points to bring up to help build rapport and client relationships.
Facebook: People can find this one slightly more intrusive, however if someone’s profile isn’t private and you are able to view it, it can give you an overview of them on a personal level, (personally this is one channel that I rarely use for business use).
YouTube: Anyone in a professional senior business position will have likely spoken at a conference/event which may well have been recorded and therefore available on YouTube. This is good for giving an overview of what they look like, how they come across and what they sound like. Almost giving you the chance to 'meet' them before you even speak with them!
Instagram: Again this could be seen as intrusive, however people who feel this way will have their profile set to private. This can give you an idea of someone’s personality including their sense of humour, (do they post funny memes) and other passions – sports teams etc.
If anyone does not want their information accessible to a public audience then they should, and will, make their social media channels private. Social media platforms are commonly used by employers across the globe. Why not use them to help you gain more insight in to potential clients to help you in your line of business?
There are other benefits to this. For example, rather than sending the standard bottle of whisky at Christmas, personalise your gifts send tickets to the rugby, a voucher for the theatre etc. Rather than a business lunch why not set up a golf day? Think outside of the box and incorporate personal touches to your individual clients to improve the service you offer them and ultimately your relationships!