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Harnessing the Power of Social Media Tools to fill your funnel & close more business


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Sept 2nd, 2009 workshop for the Sales & Marketing Society of the Midsouth. Presenters: Lori Turner of RedRover Company, and James Hutto of Valeo Design & Marketing.

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Harnessing the Power of Social Media Tools to fill your funnel & close more business

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  2. 2. Agenda Session Objectives   Sales and Marketing Benefits of Learn How to Use Social Media LinkedIn/FaceBook to:   Fragmented Social Media Universe   Generate more leads   Today’s Focus – LinkedIn and   Increase brand FaceBook awareness   More Effective Selling   Drive traffic to your   Branding/Marketing brand/site   Individual and Firm Branding   Convert cold leads into   Marketing and Promotions warm prospects   Measurement   Close more sales 2
  3. 3.   Pursue direct sales. See who your friends, colleagues, customers and vendors know that you need to know to reach your goals. If you sell IT services, you can identify IT decision makers within companies that you're targeting plus identify new companies to target.   Increase the visibility of your business or brand by using social media tools to demonstrate your subject matter expertise. Buzz leads to consideration.   Generate traffic to your website through your social networking.   Improve your search engine optimization (SEO) – your search engine ranking in other words – as a result of your social networking efforts.   Extend your sales and marketing budget through low-cost lead sourcing, brand awareness efforts, and marketing campaigns – but can be time intensive.   Being a part of the conversation makes you and what you’re selling relevant and keeps you in touch with your consumers. 3
  4. 4. Fragmented Social Media Universe 4
  5. 5.   A business oriented social   A more personally slanted networking site allowing users to social networking site maintain contact details and key where users message info about people they know and friends via personal/ trust – connections. “Three professional updates to degrees” functionality helps their own profiles. Most extend reach beyond just your used social networking universe of contacts. site today.   31 million users; 11 million   250 million users; 68 unique users/mo. million unique users/mo.   70K users in Memphis 5
  6. 6. Sample Sales Funnel   Sales Funnel helps you determine level of prospecting needed each week to meet sales targets   Key questions to develop your personalized Sales Funnel – seeking rough averages:   % of prospects called you reach   % of those who agree to meet   % of those where you get to quote   % of those jobs you land   Average size job   Incremental weekly sales target = Incremental Weekly Revenue Target 6
  7. 7. Sample Sales Funnel   Ways to use LI and FB to fill your funnel:   Lead sourcing/generation   LI Advanced Search   FB Search – name, keyword, location, school, company   Ways to use LI and FB a to improve your funnel performance – % reached, % that agree to meet, and close ratios:   Call/Meeting prep   Converting cold leads into warm prospects   Building rapport and trust through = Incremental Weekly Revenue Target research 7
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  9. 9.   What do we mean by call planning or prep?   There are two waves of call prep – (1) prep for your initial attempt to land a meeting with a prospect, and (2) prep for the actual in-person sales call once scheduled. We’ll address both today. Note that in preparing for your initial phone call, you should have already completed 90% of your prep for the actual meeting.   Prep for an initial prospect call typically consists of:  Prospect qualification prior to initial phone call  Completion of research prior to initial phone call  Determination of call objectives for in-person meeting  Scripting/rehearsal of both your phone call and in-person meeting 9
  10. 10.   Why is it important?   Reduce the number of prospects you need to call on by increasing your success rate with those you do call. How? Do your homework to prequalify prospects and develop a customized winning approach to landing the meeting.   Call planning can make the difference in getting the meeting or not, and in closing the deal or not. If the account has great enough potential, hours of call planning could be justified.   One opportunity to make a good sales impression. Make it count.   Even if it is just a 15-minute sales call with a decision-maker, that crucial 15 minutes has to be planned so every minute counts. If it’s a prospect not worth conducting proper planning for, it’s probably not worth your time.  How much time do you usually spend planning for a sales call? 10
  11. 11.   What are you trying to achieve with this initial research?   Identify multiple points of potential connection.   Allow you to get creative in how you approach landing the meeting.   Uncover information that allows you to craft a meaningful “what’s in it for them” statement.   Arm you with information that will help you overcome objections to landing the meeting. 11
  12. 12.   Potential research sources:   Prospect website   Internet search   Social media sites (e.g., LinkedIn, FaceBook, Twitter), including blogs and other web forums   Common acquaintances (ask around inside your firm, ask friends/ former colleagues, ask within organizations you’re affiliated with, check social media sites) Note: Encourage call prep at least several days before calling so that you can fully leverage common acquaintances.   Conversations with non-competing sales reps also calling on them   Past clients   How to use research: Ensuring it doesn’t sound like you’re simply trying to prove you did your homework vs. that you’re trying to help them solve 12 a problem, meet a need, etc.
  13. 13. Types of Research Available   Type of work they do   Common acquaintances – while   Awards/Press serving as information sources, they   Big accounts well-known for can also help get your foot in the   Size of firm and indication of door (get creative with how you potential volume leverage these connections)   Common acquaintances   Community affiliations/causes   Past companies decision   Interests makers worked for   Their target audiences   Likes/Dislikes   Their hot buttons and/or causes   Personality type   Past project of theirs that you   Family can authentically provide   Educational background specific, positive feedback on   Sports teams of interest   Favorite restaurants 13
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  16. 16. Case Study – Commercial Printer Call Prep – Landing a Difficult Meeting Via Social Media Research •  The Challenge: A commercial printing sales rep had been trying to get his foot in the door with the communications director at a very large church for months. He called countless times, sent emails, without any response. Due to the church’s vigilant gatekeeper, he couldn’t pop by for an unscheduled visit either. •  The Solution: He researched the prospect via FaceBook and learned that he was a huge Calvin and Hobbs fan with a witty sense of humor. The sales rep purchased a hard-bound Calvin and Hobbs book and attached a handwritten, cleverly crafted note, written in a Calvin- and-Hobbs tone, and had it hand couriered directly into the prospect’s hands. 16
  17. 17. Case Study – Commercial Printer Call Prep – Landing a Difficult Meeting Via Social Media Research •  The Challenge: This same printing sales rep was trying to get his foot in the door with a large ad agency. This firm had two production managers, neither of whom returned the two messages he left. Rather than leave any more messages, and a negative impression, he decided to get creative. •  The Solution: After researching these production managers – reviewing months worth of FaceBook wall posts – and contacting common acquaintances he identified via LinkedIn, he knew quite a bit about them. He created a “Tower of Power” gift for each prospect to get their attention. Five gift boxes, separately wrapped, were piled to make a tower of presents. The card said “Here are five reasons to consider working with my firm.” 17
  18. 18. Establishing Relationship Delivering and Assessing Evaluating Needs Closing the Sale Formulating & Resolving Solution Issues 18
  19. 19.   Building an effective relationship is the first step in positioning yourself as a consultant, rather than a Establishing salesperson – someone who can solve their business issues Relationship vs. someone there to sell them. Build a relationship by:   Making a good first impression.   Finding a common point of connection – personal or professional.   Asking questions that demonstrate your understanding of their business (e.g., their competitors, their market, their customers, business direction, business challenges).   Delivering short elevator pitch.   Restating the meeting objective to remind them what’s in it for them to engage in the discussion with you.   The whole point of this phase is to build trust and rapport. It’s also to engage them with a compelling elevator pitch and meeting objective which can set a positive or negative tone for the entire conversation. 19
  20. 20. Why Referrals Are Golden   The act of referring you to others is validation of your value.   When you meet the potential client, the relationship is half-formed.   When you meet the potential client, the engagement is half-sold.   Referral generation can produce one of the highest returns of your sales and marketing investment.   Referrals can generate some of the highest quality and most loyal clients. 20
  21. 21. Tips for Generating Golden Referrals   Frequency of the Ask – You have to take accountability for regularly giving your best customers the opportunity to refer business. Don’t bombard the same people too often, but if you just ask once, you’re leaving business on the table. Identify specific referral opportunities through LinkedIn and FaceBook – who do they know that you want to know?   What To Do with New Referrals – Reward referral behavior quickly and generously to encourage more of the same. At a minimum, send them a handwritten thank you card with a note outlining your first contact with the person they referred.   To get referrals, give referrals. There’s nothing like leading by example. 21
  22. 22. Tips for Generating Golden Referrals, cont.   Giving someone a referral is very different from providing a contact name (or a lead). “You should call John Smith. He’s looking for someone to help with his taxes. Feel free to use my name.” This isn’t a referral. It’s simply passing along a contact name. It’s not nearly as effective as having your customer pick up the phone, call John, and tell him about you and your firm. Help the “referee” understand what you’re looking for:   Three-party lunch.   Phone recommendation with suggestion that the prospect meets you, followed by a call from you.   Introduction at specific upcoming networking event.   Email introduction and recommendation, with suggestion that the two of you meet, where you’re copied.   Virtual introduction via LinkedIn. 22
  23. 23. Tips for Generating Golden Referrals, cont.   Coach them to warm it up – give them very simple sales language: “That’s great. I appreciate you recommending Susan. The easiest thing to tell her is that: you’re pleased with the work we’ve been doing and I specialize in helping service firms like yours develop strategies for cutting expenses, you recommend that she have a brief conversation with me, and would it be okay if I gave her a call in the near future?”   Keep control of the process: “Thanks for doing that. Oh, and when would be a good time for me to get back in touch with you to see if she would like me to give her a call?” 23
  24. 24.   Increase your brand's visibility and your own credibility as a subject matter expert.   Create a simple company page where all employees link to it via LinkedIn.   Indirectly announce your services to others via LinkedIn Answers tool by responding to a question related to your service or asking a question that either engages your target audience or indirectly points to what you do. Careful – soft sell only.   Drive interested readers to your blog posting by answering a question and providing a URL to your blog for additional detail.   Get your product or service recommended by another member of the LinkedIn community.   Use status updates to comment on projects and work you’re doing that’s of interest to prospects. 24
  25. 25.   Brand visibility, cont.   Grow your network by joining groups and inviting members of fellow groups to connect – spreading your messaging to a broader prospect base (via status updates or responses to Answer).   Provide link to your profile in your email signature.   Improve your search engine ranking.   Drive additional traffic to your site via LinkedIn, which improves ranking.   Creating additional links to your site helps the search engines find you and can improve your ranking. Example: what if all employee LinkedIn pages pointed to your company website? 25
  26. 26.   Give thought to your FaceBook strategy:   Personal objective – personal friends only; updates skew personal; private profile; use FaceBook for prospect research only   Combo of personal/professional objective – friends, clients and prospects; blend of personal/professional updates that skew professional; public or private profile   Strictly business objective – professional updates with public profile   Create both a personal profile and a company page depending upon your FB strategy.   Photo selection is key. Use your logo as your main photo on your company page. Get a professional shot for your personal profile vs. cropping yourself out of a family photo.   Have a short well-thought out description of what you do underneath your photo. 26
  27. 27.   Link to your other online presence(s).   Website(s)   Blogs   Other social networking profiles   YouTube (add the YouTube Video Box Application)   Experiment with FaceBook advertising – highly targeted, low cost per impression, low cost of entry.   Generate a fan base for your company page and message those fans.   Work with other businesses who offer goods and services that complement yours, and “fan” each other, post on each others’ pages, write on each others’ walls and tag each others’ work in photo albums. Example: an event planner could build this kind of synergy with a photographer, florist, caterer, etc. 27
  28. 28.   Run contests to increase activity on your page.   Ask people to become a fan or post comments on your wall within a certain time frame and then reward them with something of perceived value.   Update your fans a few times per month.   Make sure you link to your website(s) in the updates.   Ask everyone you know (including your staff) to become a fan of your page and to share or post your page.   Make it easy for them - email them the link to your FB page.   Promote your page in FB Groups and on other pages.   Search for FB groups related to what you do and post your page in their Posted Items (if enabled). 28
  29. 29.   Consider allowing your fans to post photos   Enable the Fan Photos option, but monitor this closely so that you can take down any photos that you feel are not beneficial to you.   Post comments on your own wall.   Lets your fans see two-way conversations between you and other fans.   Be sure to click anywhere on the page so FB will recognize your Admin status. Your logo (rather than your personal profile photo) will show up. 29
  30. 30.   Sales Results   Improvements in sales funnel stats.   Specifically % meetings landed compared to calls made and # new leads.   Increase in conversion of cold leads to warm prospects (via common acquaintances, introductions, research).   Advertising Results   FB ad “click through” and conversion rates.   General Traffic/Awareness   Increased traffic to your LI and FB pages (including from your email signature and website).   Increased traffic to your website via LI and FB pages.   Grass roots tracking – “how did you hear about me/us.”   Third-party traffic tracking applications. 30
  31. 31.   Creating a strong profile –   Creating individual profile individual and company and/or company page   Status updates   Search with filters   Recommendations   Fan Pages & Groups   Virtual introductions   Advertising   Advanced search   Groups   Answers 31
  32. 32. A few of the companies we’ve had the privilege of partnering with:
  33. 33. 33
  34. 34. A couple of word about goals: Have one. 34
  35. 35. A couple of word about goals: Have one. 35
  36. 36. • Complete • Connect • Converse • Convert 36
  37. 37. Get to 100% Profile completion can affect what you see in searches Watch the meter, follow the steps they tell you to 37
  38. 38. You must have a photo! People will see you status updates, try to keep them reasonably current Set a custom profile URL and put it in your email signature 38
  39. 39. •  LinkedIn Applications: o  Blogs o  SlideShare o  Google Presentations o  others 39
  40. 40. •  Give to Get •  Be specific about what you want recommendations about you to cover 40
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  42. 42. •  All employees have to spell the company exactly the same •  One person should fill out the company profile and add a company description and logo Search by companies, and setup your company profile 42
  43. 43. • Complete • Connect • Converse • Convert 43
  44. 44. •  Contacts can be imported from almost any email program: Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, Outlook and more •  LinkedIn will match all users that have accounts on the system •  Go through matched connections and choose who send requests to 44
  45. 45. •  Keywords, names, titles, companies, schools, locations •  Remember your goals. Who are you looking for? 45
  46. 46. •  How do you know them? •  Don’t abuse the system: –  LinkedIn will limit your ability to add connections if you get too many “I don’t know this person” responses! •  Send Personalized Notes –  Use a Cheat Sheet to copy/paste standard greetings to save time 46
  47. 47. •  Groups are great for expanding your network o  You can add anyone you share a group with as a contact. Continue to expand your network •  Set your preferences in the Groups you join o  Email alerts: daily or weekly o  Show logos on your profile 47
  48. 48. • Use Introductions to connect through people you are directly connected to • You send a message to both people o  Be careful: it’s likely that the person forwarding the introduction may not strip out your comments! o  Very similar to forwarding an email • Don’t abuse - requires effort on the Introducer’s part • 5 at a time with a Free account 48
  49. 49. • Complete • Connect • Converse • Convert 49
  50. 50. • Update it regularly • Make it relevant • Talk about what you’re looking for or working on • Don’t neglect for too long… 50
  51. 51. • Start Discussions • Answer Questions • Identify opportunities • Don’t forget to use your groups to connect and grow your network 51
  52. 52. • Are you good at what you do? • Do you want others to notice that? • Answering Questions is a great way to build your “Social Capital” and credibility on LinkedIn 52
  53. 53. • Complete • Connect • Converse • Convert 53
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  55. 55. Click to see Filtering options 55
  56. 56. •  Same concepts: o  Groups with prospects o  Groups where you can show your expertise or be helpful 56
  57. 57. •  Highly Targeted: o  Demographics o  Geography •  Pay-Per-Click 57
  58. 58. James Hutto Managing Project Director @jameshutto | 888-267-0273 | @ValeoMarketing | |