Today’s post is by Mark Hunter, CSP, “The Sales Hunter.” Mark is the author of High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results and High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price.
Some people argue social media is the new way to prospect – and that the telephone is dead. Others argue that the telephone is still viable and there is no need to put too much emphasis on social media.
I’m tired of this bogus war pitting social media against the telephone. It’s time we start seeing both as allies. Sales is too big of a profession – with too much of an impact on the economy – to allow it to be side-tracked by petty arguments.
People on both sides of the argument are quick to throw out statistics that support their point of view and discredit the other. The problem I see is all of these stats are suspect, as nobody knows your exact selling situation. The only thing the statistics are good for is supporting what you want to believe.
Merging Social Media with Phone Calls
Let’s cut to the chase. It’s time we bring social media and the telephone together. My goal with social media is simple – take the online connections I develop from social media and move them to offline conversations on the telephone. If there’s a goal all of us should have, this is it.
Social media is valuable and, yes, you can call it “social selling,” but the goal is simple – allow it to become meaningful enough to warrant a telephone conversation. Social media is great for creating connections, building awareness, and even uncovering some needs, but I doubt I’ll ever close a significant sale by blasting out a message to thousands. Social media is a means to the end; it is not an end to the selling process, as some salespeople believe it to be.
Just as we take online connections and move them offline to the telephone, we can do the same thing in reverse to those contacts we first reach via the telephone. If I am talking on the phone with a prospect, my goal is to extend the conversation to social media. Marrying the two allows me to learn more about you and, depending on your use of social media, can provide me with a second communication channel.
Let’s not go looking to forgo the telephone. I’m always going to use it as the primary communication tool. The advantage of social media is it gives me a backup channel should you become unreachable via the telephone.
The Value of Alignment: More Sales Conversations
Too many salespeople fail to bring the two channels together. Whether it be a mentality of only selling via “new school” strategies that embrace social media – or the desire to stick with “old school” and solely using the telephone, it’s only going to do one thing: hurt your ability to close more sales.
When we align the two, we’ll be able to accelerate the selling process. We will be in a better position to have more conversations.
Another reason we need to align the two tools? It’s simple – not everyone uses both. If I allow myself to use only the telephone to prospect, I run the risk of not being able to reach some prospects who simply will never respond to the phone. Conversely, if I rely solely on social media, I’ll miss a much bigger segment of the population that does not engage at a business level on social media. When we align both and become comfortable using both, we’ll increase significantly our ability to reach more prospects.
Social media becomes more valuable to us when we use it with the telephone in the same way a tool that has been around for years – the telephone – takes on even more value when used with social media. The two are in competition with each other, yes, but the only competition they’re in is to help you close more sales.