Effective Step-by-Step Guide to Monitor Your Competitor’s Social Prospecting Efforts
To say we live in the information age is an understatement. These days, everyone is over-sharing information. Too much information surrounds us. Everyone is so open to sharing and will communicate with anyone and everyone willing to listen. For example I am sharing this social-lead generation secret with you. The awesome social-lead generation strategy I’m about to share with you shouldn’t be shared. Truth is, I know you’ll share it too!
Why all this sharing? Are we professional businessmen and women trying to be more successful than one another, or are we unnoticed children crying for attention? In any case, it seems like everyone is learning how to talk online for the first time. It’s time to grow up—the public Internet is going to be 18 this year.
This keen observation begs the question: Did we ever communicate correctly before social media, or were we always trying to have everyone hear every word and thought we had and know about every action we made? My guess is social media exacerbated this over-sharing problem.
Now to the social business world:
In the business world, salesmen who prospect online may have an excuse for over-sharing. They may feel they need to justify their social communication actions to their boss. They need to “show” their work. Their cold call dials are down; their mass email communication is ineffective; where are the new prospects coming from? I’m sure you’ve heard your “old school” sales manager say “Social prospecting, what’s that?” The saleswoman’s work needs to be justified with PROOF! Forcing them to be public about their work so their bosses and their boss’ bosses can see how their online communication strategies are working.
Little do the salespeople realize that their competition is watching their every step! Did you really think that the social salesman’s bosses aren’t the only ones monitoring their great social sales communication?
So what should you do?
If the sales professionals are naive enough to inform you of sales opportunities, as a salesman, you need to be prepared to take full advantage of other saleswomen’s over-sharing of information. Because these social saleswoman like to talk a lot, there is a mixture of relevant and irrelevant information that you need to sift through. How do we filter out the noise and stay on task? The answer—social monitoring with optimal organization.
As a salesman, your goal should be to get in front of as many qualified prospects who are in the market to buy what you are selling.
Well, how do I find them in the information-overload era you ask? I am here to tell you.
My friend and prospecting thought leader, Cory Kapner, show’d me his amazing prospecting secret and the endless flow of leads it has generated for him. I was floored. Follow this strategy and you will be the top sales professional in your organization. Forget about cold leads; forget about warm leads; your leads will be hot and ready to close. They are all ready to solve a problem that you can solve. Please read and reread the step-by-step guide below.
Hot Social Lead Generation in Action:
1) You should know your competition, but if you don’t, research your competitors on LinkedIn by putting in your company name on the ”companies” page. If your industry is commoditized, start with the companies that you know your organization is superior to:
2) Now it’s time to get to know your competition in real-time online. Drill down further on the companies one by one. First, research your LinkedIn contacts within the competitor’s organization. You should focus on (corporate level) C-level decision makers, sales and client services people. The idea is not to befriend them. The idea is to identify who they are, what their role is, and if they can help you drive more sales within your organization.
3) Once the individual contacts are identified, the best way to have them help you is to follow them on Twitter. (You can follow them on Linkedin as well, but that’s a whole different conversation.) They will bring you right into their conversations. For organizational purposes, first locate the individual Twitter handles for each contact and start compiling your list offline.
*Amazingly, in some cases the companies do all the organizational work for you—they put together public lists of their sales-force for you to follow. What a nice gift!
4) Now bring your lists back online using a third-party social media management application (SMMS) application (or Twitter lists directly) to “sneakily” follow the Twitter handles you patiently compiled. There are SMMS platforms that offer the “sneaky” follow, although there are many other ways you can do this without your competition knowing you are watching them. For example, you can easily create lists on Twitter using a separate Twitter prospecting account.
5) Filter the conversations based on competitor (or whatever other goal(s) you may have set up). Monitor through alerts, watch through Twitter, or watch through a third-party SMMS platform.
7) Now reach out to the hot leads you found on different social media platforms using the research you’ve gathered. In the above example, this prospect had a link on her Twitter page to her LinkedIn profile. Now you can identify if you share any commonalities with the prospect, such as groups you share on LinkedIn. Information can easily be found on their “about me” section of their website. You can also take a look at their companies “about us’ page for information about them and the company they work for. Again, this is important: Once you have located their LinkedIn profile, you can connect with them if they share a similar group with you. If you are in any of the groups, join it, and connect through that commonality. This will be the gateway for you to distance yourself from the real way you found them. It may be too creepy to tell them that you have been waiting and watching for their conversation to take place.
If your competition is going to give you an open look into their social prospecting, you would be foolish not to take notice. I urge you to listen to your organized social network’s conversations. You will be pleasantly surprised by what you see. No time like the present to capitalize on this opportunity.
If you are struggling to apply this strategy to your niche let me know, If you think it doesn’t work for your niche, remember social media is not business to consumer (B to C) or business to business (B to B)—it is person to person (P to P). With this in mind, just listen! If you talk to your sales prospects, remember the competition can and will be listening.
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