Last time, we discussed some of the social selling basics related to finding sales prospects on Twitter. You now know the importance of creating a professional profile and maintaining a stream filled with useful, relevant, and interesting information. You know you need to establish yourself as an expert in your field. You also know you need to pay attention to buying signals if you want to pick up on cues potential customers give when they’re ready to make a purchase.
Keeping all of that in mind, we’re going to delve into some useful and practical tips for finding sales prospects on Twitter. Once you’re done reading this post, you’ll be able to start social prospecting and social selling like a pro!
Get Friendly with Twitter Search
To find prospects on Twitter, all you need to do is use the search function. Seriously, that’s all there is to it. There are people out there tweeting about topics related to your product or service right this second and it’s your job to find them and respond. First thing’s first:
You can’t search without the proper keywords so take some time to come up with a handful of terms that you think people identify and relate to your company or industry.
Search using variation
Once you have some keywords jotted down, search for them on Twitter. Make sure you use a few variations of these terms as well to broaden your search and view the widest pool of prospects at a given time. For instance, if you’re a home furniture manufacturer, you might search for “living room furniture,” “sofa set,” and “couch.”
Identify quality leads
After you’ve conducted your search, scroll through the results to identify quality leads. Read back a few tweets to see how interested the lead is and where that lead might be in the purchase cycle. Then you can strike up a conversation and nurture the lead by offering some valuable content or advice.
Pay Attention to Context
While social networks like Twitter can be powerful tools for social selling and prospecting, they can also be dangerous. One wrong move and you could seriously damage your reputation. Take for instance an example dug up by Social Media Today. A company was obviously following the steps we’ve outlined so far: they identified keywords, conducted a search for them, and engaged with a potential prospect. The prospect in this scenario was Robert Terson, author of Selling Fearlessly. The company retweeted one of Robert’s tweets and Robert did the right thing by thanking the company for doing so. But then–and here’s where the company made a fatal error–they immediately offered to give Robert a demo of their product.
You see, there was absolutely no nurturing of this potential lead. No, “Hey, how are you, nice to meet you, what can we do for you?” The company just dove right in with the pitch and put an end to a potential relationship before it even had a chance to begin. To top it off, the company wasn’t even following Robert. Major fail.
All of this is to say that before you reach out to a potential prospect, figure out what they need and how to respond appropriately. To break this down:
- Make sure the prospect is actually tweeting about what you think they are tweeting about. A re-tweet or a favorite is not an invitation for a sales pitch.
- Engage in conversation. Whether that’s answering a direct question or offering the prospect a helpful article, be thoughtful and informative above all else.
- Once a relationship is established, then continue on with your social selling strategy, by nurturing the prospect and moving him further down the sales funnel.
Best Tools for Twitter Prospecting
If you want to do social selling and prospecting the right way on Twitter, you need to use the right tools for the job. Some kind of social media management tool, like HootSuite, is helpful for keeping track of conversations. A dedicated Twitter search engine like Topsy can prove helpful for organizing search results and analyzing data. There are many other search options out there as well like SocialMention. If you’re not one for piling on new social tools, regular ol’ Twitter Search works just fine, too.
Following these social selling tips will help you locate, engage, and convert sales prospects on Twitter. Plus, by honing your skills in finding prospects on Twitter, you stand a much greater chance of exceeding your sales quotas and remaining a top performing salesperson. You have everything to gain by engaging in social prospecting on Twitter – just make sure you’re doing it the right way and you’ll be on your way to growing your sales in no time!
Download our Social Selling Study Results to learn more about how sales teams are utilizing social media to find and convert more leads.