I joined Twitter in the summer of 2009 after taking some time to understand how it works and how it could benefit VA Partners. After taking some time to dip my toes in, it didn’t take long for me to jump the rest of the way in. I use Twitter everyday day of the week. I use it for personal reasons, mostly as a news aggregator and to get soccer information on my beloved TFC and Canadian men’s soccer team, but most of my use is work related.
My main use of twitter is for work. I find it is an excellent tool to stay on top on industry news and events. It is also a great tool for sales people. I have been able to nurture target clients, get speaking opportunities, and even book meetings with prospects through Twitter.
Here are a few of the areas that business individuals can use Twitter for B2B sales:
Subject Matter Expert
Twitter is an excellent tool for sharing your insights and content. This not only applies to your company’s information, but third party information as well. Using a mix of interesting and pertinent content is a great way to reinforce your subject matter expertise.
Stay Top of Mind
Sometimes you have those prospects where now isn’t the right time. It isn’t that your product or service is not a good fit, it is just that the customer isn’t ready on their side. Part of the traditional follow-up would include emails and calls. Now, Twitter and other social platforms like LinkedIn can help. If your prospect is on Twitter they will see you posts from time to time and that will help you stay top of mind with them.
Intelligence on Competitors, Customers, and Prospects
One of the best features of the platform is Twitter lists. You can create list for your customers, partners, and even competitors. By creating these lists you can put extra focus on these categories. This can help make you very efficient in your social media use.
Look for Sales Triggers
I have found numerous sale triggers for both our customers and for VA Partners. One of my favourite instances was when one of my prospects shared a need that VA Partners could help with. I spotted the trigger on Twitter and replied back. We moved the conversation to email and then to the telephone. A month later they were a customer and we were on are way to helping Sales For Life to an increase of 300% in website traffic and inbound leads.
Connect and Build a Relationship
One of the great things about Twitter is the openness. It doesn’t feel like the same commitment to accepting a LinkedIn connection. Follow lots of prospects and customers and many will follow you back. Share their content when it is interesting, and applicable to your followers. You can also answer questions that people may have. Both of these things help to build that on-line relationship. It’s great when they start sharing your content.
Reach-Out on Twitter
I like to @reply a potential prospect asking for a call or meeting versus a direct message. I find that until I build a relationship I use a @reply, because of its open nature. You can then move the conversation to a direct message, email, or call. One of the new changes to Twitter is an expanded character limit for direct messages. I find that some customers or business partners have declared email bankruptcy and don’t message back, but send them a message on twitter and they are back to you right away.
I feel that twitter will continue to be an excellent channel to stay in contact with customers and prospects and make new relationships. Follow me or VA Partners on Twitter for great sales, marketing, and social media content.