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Sales Process or Social Media. What works best?

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Don’t get me wrong. I love Social Media and all of the opportunities it brings me as a business development professional…and a social media strategist. But… Ahh, the proverbial “but”.

With all the hype and chatter about social media, tweets, posts, retweets, and generating web traffic – do sales people still need to follow a good solid, tested sales process?

Many say that the above list is a replacement for all client calling and traditional marketing like personal email, printed letters with a real signature, and other forms of direct marketing. Well, I disagree – and here is why.

I have found, and I know my colleagues at Haley Marketing would agree, that good old fashioned disciplines like creating a sales plan and executing it, making regular prospect touches, nurturing relationships with multiple levels of decision makers, and yes, getting on the phone – are all  still necessary aspects of good sales process.

The beauty of these regimens is that no matter what the weather, economy or your best friend’s mood that day, you can work your plan and grow your pipeline every day.

Consider adding these to your daily regimen:

  1. Qualify and add one new prospect to your sales funnel, every day. No matter what. But before you pick up the phone, think about accomplishing three goals:
    • Grab their attention – do something to get prospects to pay attention to your message
    • Educate them about the kinds of problems you can solve
    • Position your firm as the best at solving those kinds of problems

    The idea is to give every prospect a strong reason to want to speak with you before you ever pick up the phone.

  2. Plan to nurture your relationships with every client and every prospect at least once per month. The best tools will likely be a combination of email, direct mail and the phone.
    Important point: nurturing is not selling. Don’t plan to make a monthly sales call or even a monthly “have any staffing needs” call. Find at least one way to educate, add value, or otherwise make a positive impression on the people on your list.
  3. Make a fixed number of calls or visits to the prospects who are READY to hear from you. If you follow steps 1 and 2, you will have warm leads to call, every day.
  4. Thank your online network every month. (I do this by singing their praises in a post on LinkedIn)
  5. Ask your network every month, what they need from you.

You get the idea. The old adage “Plan your work and work your plan” is still relevant amidst all the social noise. What’s your plan for this week?

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