Gone are the days of tedious sales calls and soliciting to find your latest client. What hasn’t left us is the need to continue to build our books and forge through on the hustle.
So, where are all of your future clients hiding if you scratch cold-calling from your playbook?
According to Dreamgrow Facebook now reports over 1.8 billion active users. So... There. Any fraction of 1.8 billion is a good number, so even if we're only reaching a tiny percentage of people, we're still dipping into the largest social network in human existence.
Facebook is truly social in all senses of the word. People share their job searches, ask for referrals for their elderly parents care, and continue to network. Yes, “Networking” is a four-letter word to many in business development, because networking events are real hit-or-miss (mostly miss these days it seems), the concept itself is vague, it's the same people at every event, and it's hard to measure outcomes.
Then it feels like speed dating, but your prey... er... your prospects are not there to sell... just you, so it's like a super creepy speed-dating session with one of you trying to get something from the other in a covert, sneaky fashion.
Not to mention, you probably don't get a lot of leniency with management for attending those events. When you do get to go, the expectations for your next home run are extraordinarily and disproportionately high compared to other activities because you're out of the office and can't hammer through 50 calls (although, what's REALLY the point of that? More here).
So, if you add up all of the resources wasted on activities related to those networking events, including costs to get you there and the time spent there and traveling/prepping, it gets even less pretty.
Good thing the largest community of human beings ever in existence is literally accessible through our fingertips... There are more ways to be social than the quick meetings and networking events, and Facebook, although your gut probably tells you otherwise, is one of your best answers.
Here are 5 key ways to rethink what Facebook can do for you.
1. Smart Networking
Social media gives us the ability to see what peoples lives are all about, who they know, and what they do. So, as a sales person you have the ability to “Smart Network”.
What does that mean? To start, you don’t have to pack a suitcase, block off your calendar for your flights or the times you'll be standing in the corner pretending to look at your emails... You can strategically find contacts through friends, family, people that engage with your products that will help you grow your network and contacts.
Yes, this requires some work but be active, it will pay off. To be clear, I'm not hear to show you how to side-step the need to be social in social media, but rather, to focus on what's going to help you make money.
pro-tip: make sure that your Facebook bio has your title and company on it, this allows people to make that connection with your name over time.
2. Go Live with Facebook Live!
What says personal and interactive like a good Facebook Live chat or demonstration? Questions can be asked and you can give an instant response. This is a great way to make people feel important, heard and fulfilled. It is a bit intimidating to have instant feedback and the occasional angry face emoji sent to you but like so many things on the internet, an opinion will always be given. Use it to learn and motivate you.
pro-tip: make sure that your Facebook live videos mention your job and title. Introduce yourself and keep the topics diverse. We encourage series topics too. This way people will come back for more.
3. Cross Promoting
Referrals are a dime a dozen in many of these "networking groups". You are obligated to use the same person for each referral you want to give otherwise you are accused of not being a team player.
The pressure is unnecessary and not productive.
The beauty of Facebook is that we are now able to refer people in new and exciting ways. You just had an awesome experience? Great, nothing says i'm happy like a Facebook post about a great experience or company. Your friends see it and you are one step closer to not only referring someone you like but building a fantastic relationship with them. Chances are these referrals will return the favor.
pro-tip: When you can, make sure to tag the business or the person you are referring in your post. If you can link a website to it then that is even better.
Want to see how social media can become one of your greatest engines for growth? Check out this guide to getting started with inbound marketing, which utilizes social media to get you engaged, exciting leads.
4. Facebook Groups
Do you miss the feel of large groups giving you feedback or being able to throw ideas at them? Fear not, because Facebook allows you to search for groups that have been created around certain topics that you are interested in. Seriously, a group exists for almost any topic you can think of.
All you have to do is think of a keyword, and then type it into the search box on Facebook. Click on the "Groups" filter to the left of the results. From there you can narrow down your choices by listing some sub categories, such as business, interests, location, and various organizations.
pro-tip: Make sure to personalize your Facebook page with your name is in the URL rather than just a random number. Go to your General Account Settings, then edit your username.
5. Facebook Events
What does a Facebook events have to with Networking?
No longer do you have to worry about inputting email addresses from 1000's of similar business cards to invite people. You can create a Facebook event for a meeting, seminar or even to announce a Facebook live session coming up. This shows up on peoples feeds that you are connected with but in addition to that, it shows up on their friends feed that they are interested or going to said event. This creates a great deal of awareness, many of which is free.
pro-tip: Use eye catching images and clear descriptions that keep potential new connections interested in learning more.
BONUS: Facebook Boost
Great you've created your unique post and you've pushed it out on Facebook, you see a few new contacts and engagement but it's not enough. Fear not, you can boost your post from your business page and are able to decide who you want to reach. Boosted posts allow you to focus in on an area, interests, age, and sex just to name a few. Now you've expanded your reach from your connections and their friends to strangers you may never have met.
pro-tip: Always check the insights from your boosted posts, they can give you a better idea of who is reacting to your post. You may be missing out on some key buyer persona info if you skip this step.
In conclusion, although Facebook looks and feels intuitively like a forum not meant for marketers, particularly in the b2b arena, it IS one of your best sources for engagement out there. You just have to make a few adjustments, and stop blasting ads all day.
After all, social media is about being social.
If you'd like to learn about ways Orange Pegs can help you improve your sales process, click HERE to schedule a consultation: