Social Media Optimisation

The importance of social media in the sales process: summary of a presentation by Axel Schultze

The main argument presented is that the traditional sales process is dying (or has already died, according to AS). The traditional sales process might be summarised as:

  • Obtain sales leads through advertising (newspaper, radio, TV etc) or cold calls
  • Lead development through mailing brochures, email, phone calls and personal visits
  • Product demonstration
  • Sale negotiation
  • Sale closing

By comparison, the new buying process ('buying' rather than 'sales', as this process is driven by the buyer) might be summarised as:

  • Google search for a solution to the buyer's problem
  • Discovery and evaluation of potential solution providers through 'the network' (LinkedIn, FaceBook, Twitter etc)
  • Product trial
  • Sale negotiation
  • Sale closing

To be part of the new buying process you have to be part of 'the conversation' - the ongoing social interaction on the web through the social media sites listed above plus blogs, RSS feeds, SlideShare, YouTube, Flickr and so on. This statement applies equally if you are selling a product or selling yourself in the employment market.

A five step 'flight plan' to discovering business leads was suggested, based on 20 minutes per day over a 10 day block of time:

  1. Listen and learn
  2. Comment and respond
  3. Connect with the person
  4. Socialise
  5. Arrange for an appointment

Suggested time commitments to develop a 'social graph' over a six month period were:

  • LinkedIn - 15 minutes / day participating in relevant groups
  • FaceBook - 20 minutes / week "showing your fun side" in photos and entries
  • Twitter - 15 minutes / day
  • Blog - 30 minutes / week

So there you have it! You can view Axel's slides at SlideShare.

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