Social Climbing

Incorporating social media into your business can help take your sales to new heights.

In the past couple of months I’ve sent a few Twitter messages to express my frustration or thoughts on a brand. Do you know what happened? Each time I did this, someone representing that brand publicly responded to me! That’s just crazy and cool all at the same time, at least from an average consumer’s point of view. Specifically, AT&T helped me straighten out an issue with a bill, helped me troubleshoot a problem with my hosting account and removed me from their mailing list glitch. Social media has some power! It has the power to fix, the power to heal and for your purpose, the power to sell!

Now, don’t forget the other side of this coin where any mode of communication, including social media, can spread negatives as well. You can listen to what people are saying about you, your brand, your product, your service or even words that might relate to what you’re selling. It enables you to put out fires before they get started or get too big. Being out there in the social media space like this helps to establish you as a trusted source as well. People want to feel like they’re connected to you, it’s human nature. Have a presence, really show that you care and address concerns. That will get you the trust you need to create all kinds of positive press and resulting sales.

Let’s consider for a moment the vast number of people tweeting (publishing a message with Twitter). People share what’s happening in their lives, what matters, what doesn’t, they have public conversations, they share advice and emotion. All of this creates a massive database which is searchable for marketers.

Setting the stage, let’s say that you have a company that sells customized scissors. When you’re in a large group it proves to be pretty difficult to find out how many people are talking about scissors. However, if you were in this same group of people on Twitter you’d actually be able to search through all of the public conversations to find everyone who’s talking about scissors.

The next question is, “What do I do now that I know how many people are talking about scissors?” The amount of people talking about scissors isn’t actually the important part. What’s important is who is talking about scissors because those are the people you should now be able to market your scissors to.

This is a tactic called social marketing. It basically consists of you having to socially network to socially market your product or service within social media. Sound complicated? Take out the word social to make it seem less complicated: Network to market your product or service. Basically you’re doing the same thing online that you would do offline. The concept is relatively simple.

Let’s bring back the word social now. If you’re not being social, you’re not taking part in social media. What that means is that unless you’re a part of the conversation, you’re only contributing to the noise. When you talk to people and learn about them, you’re creating relationships. Something that we all should know about relationships is that they take work in order to maintain and to keep healthy. That means if you want this social sphere to work for you and your sales effort, you have to take the time to make a real and sustained effort.

How do you get someone’s trust? How about their respect? You have to earn it. How long does that take? It takes just as long online via text as it would face-to-face. It’s the same world and the same people but only a different way in which to reach them. Don’t forget, you’ve got something to sell. People are going to be skeptical of you anyways. How do you feel when someone tries to sell you? Figure out what would sell you and start from there.

What’s important to note is that in doing all of this, you’re creating true connections. The time and effort you invest will help to pave the road for happy and returning customers. When you’re interacting with these people, their networks can integrate into yours. Each contact you make connects you to an entirely new network and world of prospects and customers.

People share their lives on the social networks, and in sales and marketing we should be thankful for that. When someone talks about their meal, what’s wrong with their life, what they need, what they love or hate they’re adding to the database of keywords that we search.

I invite you to find me on Twitter. Let’s have a conversation! I’m @kFenolio found via


Simple Sales Strategy

I’ll use America’s Best Companies as an example. ABC has five core tools through membership. They are Small Business Discounts, Information Resources, Online Advertising, Marketing Materials and Custom Business Website.

When I approach a business owner and introduce myself. I’ll let them know that I’m a small business consultant trying to help business owners figure out what they need and how I can find something to meet their needs. I’ll get them to tell me about their business as well as their needs first. When I find out that the accelerated cost of office supplies and other shipping products is their current concern then I know what I can pitch.

Instead of pitching them on all five of these core tools, I’m going to glaze over them and quickly bring it around to focusing on the Small Business Discounts. I’ll point out that we offer 10%-70% discounts from UPS and 20%-40% from Staples. There’s no need for me to pitch them on the Custom Business Website if they already have a website and a significant presence online. No, I want to focus on what they need because anything else they hear is simply going to be red flags screaming at them, “This one’s just trying to sell me, not help me.”

This is how you approach your prospects in social media as well.

Twitter –

This process is free and easy to do, although it may prove to be time consuming.

TwitterHawk –

This is a paid service that will actually automate the entire process. It costs a mere $.05/ tweet.

You can also forego the matching and sorting by allowing TwitterHawk to automate this process by setting up rules within the system. This will greatly reduce the time you’ll spend sorting and switching.

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