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3 Powerful Ways to Increase Prospect Connections

Once upon a time, salespeople had to do the unthinkable – they actually talked to people!

No, really. It’s true. They looked a prospect right in the eye and pitched their product F2F. And sometimes it even worked!

Now, we’re lucky to get five minutes of uninterrupted time with a consumer. Everyone treats their smartphone like it’s the elixir of life. People in the United States check their social media accounts a whopping 17 times a day! That’s while they’re sitting on the train, walking, socializing, eating dinner and even during business meetings.

The point is that it’s harder than ever to actually connect with a person without interruption. So why keep fighting the inevitable? Why not try to find new ways to increase lead engagement by connecting with customers where they’re already focused – social media!

It’s all too easy to be disconnected from consumers on social media. Instead of having a conversation, we talk at people and not with people. There is no discussion, we don’t listen, we don’t engage, and we shift our focus to vanity metrics like how many likes we can get. But, our job is to use technology to identify and forge genuine connections with leads.

It’s certainly a balancing act. Here are a few powerful ways to increase prospect connections using social media.

#1. Reach Out on Twitter

Although each social network has its strengths and weaknesses, Twitter sits pretty as one of the top platforms for B2B marketers. The entire idea behind social selling is becoming a good listener first, before you ever attempt to sell. Twitter lets you easily track anyone’s activity by following them, or by adding them to a list, so you can begin to understand potential leads better.

One major advantage to social selling via Twitter is that interjections are welcome here. People use hashtags for a reason – to make their thoughts and opinions discoverable. They are not trying to be
anonymous, and it’s not necessarily rude to respond to a complete stranger’s tweet.

You can try a service like Warble Alerts to be notified of specific hashtags or phrase. You can also set up an alert by longitude and latitude. This way you can know who is talking about your company, any relevant competitors, new products, or even complaints about old products. Then you can reach out and connect with them in the most appropriate way for the situation.

3 Powerful Ways to Increase Prospect Connections

#2. Do Your Homework on LinkedIn

Since LinkedIn is the most popular business-oriented social media platform out there, some may believe this makes it easier to pitch to potential leads. Except, every other business is doing the same thing. It’s like walking through a crowded marketplace where everyone’s yelling and trying to get people to pay attention to you. It’s simply impossible.

But don’t feel discourage as LinkedIn has over 450 million members! The right people are there, just waiting for you. You have to figure out who that person is, then the best time and way to approach them. Leadfeeder allows you to see which companies are visiting your website and what pages they’re visiting, so you can approach just the most qualified leads on LinkedIn.

You don’t even need to click through to LinkedIn to see who you know at a given company. Leadfeeder’s dashboard will reveal the connections you have in common. So if you’re trying to reach a specific person, you can reach out to someone you already know for an introduction.

lead engagement2

#3. Uncover Your Fans on Pinterest

Pinterest has evolved into something very special in the business world. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, its foundation is consumer behavior. In fact, 75% of the content on Pinterest comes directly from businesses, and 55% of users want to shop for products on Pinterest.

This means finding your fans is a top priority, because if they’re on Pinterest, they are likely already in the buying zone.

Pinterest has a new promoted video feature, which is a huge game changer. Video is one of the biggest trends in content, and it isn’t slowing down any time soon. Start with creating amazing content that attracts users. Then try something like Tailwind to track followers and engagement trends. You can also see what boards and pins are most popular, which also helps understand your overall business trends.

lead engagement3

Connect with the Person – Not the Profile

Using technology to find leads is smart and a great way to capitalize on social media’s popularity. However, technology isn’t an excuse to take the personal touch out of sales. The entire concept of being engaging is to increase the bonds between businesses and buyers. You’ll never move the needle significantly if you always give canned answers or stale information.

The entire business of sales is tricky. You have to understand when to be helpful, when to hang back, and when to ask for the sale directly. When you’re using social media as a tool for sales, you have to remember that it’s supposed to be a social platform. It was meant to build connections and not add to your sales quotas.

The idea is to remember that you’re a human being talking to another human being. And yes, that sounds obvious. Yet, it’s really easy to forget that you’re trying to forge a connection with an actual person and not a profile. The profile is simply a shell of information that represents the person.

Focus on the person first and better engagement will follow.

A New Kind of Business

I’m not ready to say that social media, mobile phones and the internet has ended the reign of the salesman. Willie Lowman is still alive and kicking. But the field of play has definitely changed, and it’s time to use new ways to engage with leads.

Instead of fighting against the trends, start using strategies and tools that work where your leads spend their time. Remember that technology has become so ingrained in our society that it’s now simply part of our lives. We wake up and look at our phones. And it’s the last thing we see at the end of the day.

In this case, technology addiction isn’t the problem. It’s the answer.

Images: Author’s Own

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Liesha's a freelancer by day and Kyokushin Black Belt by night. She's the author of Killing Rapunzel: Learning How to Save Yourself Through Determination, Grit, and Self-Employment (her mother hates the title - but it's a metaphor mom!). She talks freelancing adventures at Microbusiness Essentials and grassroots movements at Kat Tales

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