Women in Sales Blog

My Proven Method to Using Social Prospecting to Get a Conversation Going with Your Prospect

Posted by Feb 7, 2014 4:14:21 PM Ali Powell

People are always sharing articles about how to do "social prospecting" with me. People are asking me what I do when prospecting to involve social media so I thought I would share my process with you. 

I have tools that others don't. It is called HubSpot. 

I am going to take you through my step by step method to how I use social media in the beginning steps of prospecting. I also use social as I move a deal along in the sales process but for this article I am going to focus on how you would use social media along with normal prospecting efforts to get a conversation going. 

Number one - you still need to do your research. Even with social prospecting I won't reach out to people just because. I will only reach out to them because I think what we do is timely, relevant or could potentially help them. You should ask yourself if your leads are ones where you know that what you do and what your company solves for could be timely, relevant or help them. Ask yourself those 3 things every time. If you make it past there then keep going. 

smart_research_in_the_sales_processStep 1: 

Write down and know why what you do for this prospect could be 

  • Timely
  • Relevant to their business 
  • Helpful 

Step 2:

Once you have that done and you know why you are reaching out then you need to start prospecting. 

First you want to do the normal things you probably do now. You will call first and try to connect via phone. If you don't reach the person you should leave a vmail explaining why you are reaching out. 

Either you connect with the person or you don't. 

Let's just say you don't connect and you leave a vmail...

  • Explain why you are calling.
  • Explain the research that you did that makes you think they could be a good fit or that what your company helps with could be timely or helpful.
  • Tell them your background. 
  • Explain quickly what your company does. 
  • Tell them that you are also going to reach out to them via linkedin, email, and call back again.
  • Make sure that they know that this is not a one and done approach. 

Most importantly make sure that the prospect who listens to that vmail knows that you are not just calling to call. Make sure that they know that you are in fact a sales person but that you aren't acting like one. You aren't just calling every lead you get or source just because you can. You pick the leads you call so that you know that it could be relevant to them based on your research. That is very important to portray in all of your outreach. 

After you leave a vmail. You should do whatever you said you would do. Usually for me that is an email. 

Email after the vmail or call:

Make sure you state again why you are reaching out and what you were hoping to help with. Explain how you found them or how they found your company if they were an inbound lead. From there you should explain what your research was that aligns with what your company helps with. Ask the prospect if what you have said or the research you have done is relevant to their situation and if it is timely. 

Why is timely so important? how_to_get_timely_sales_opps

Think about what makes a buyer. Think about what makes a sales process even happen. It is only going to happen if what you do actually solves a problem they have now. You will only get a sale if you actually have something that they can't do now and that they know that you can help them. Focus on timely prospecting in general to have more opps that you are working where you know that they could close. You know they are worth your time because you know that something is happening internally that makes your company a good fit for their problem/s.

Now on to social prospecting...


Linkedin is your friend. Get your company to sign up for LinkedIn Premium and make it part of your prospecting process. 

Here is what I do. 

  • Find their LinkedIn page and send them an inmail similar to the email that you sent them and similar to the vmail that you left them. 
  • In the inmail make sure that you are explaining why you are reaching out and why you think there is value for their company.
  • Don't be salesy.
  • Be helpful and honest. 
  • If you really think you can help someone prove it. 
  • Use your research in the inmail. 
  • A lot  of people think shorter inmails work best, my experience is that a longer one works even better. 

Twitter is next...

  • Find their company Twitter handle.
  • Find their individual personal Twitter handle.
  • Use them.
  •  I am not going to tell you what you should say because you should be being human and personal in your outreach.
  • Be helpful.
  • Suggest content they should read. 
  • Tell them why you are reaching out quickly.

Make sure you are logging all of this in CRM. Have your CRM admin make sure that you can actually log what you are doing in social media. Social media should be just as important as being able to log a call, log a vmail, log an email. They should be seen by your management team as just as important or just as big of a factor of you getting an exploratory call with someone as traditional methods. 

The steps that I talked about above are for a first outreach. Do them all at the same time. Make sure you put your own twists on each one. Don't say the exact same thing, that would be stupid. Maximize your words and say what you think will engage them and get them to open the thing you sent them. 

Just because you did all of these steps doesn't mean they will get back to you right away. BUT, if you do these things every time you prospect a good lead you should see better return over time. Some people will get back to you right away. That is a great thing - whether it is a no or a yes. Doesn't really matter, at least you know either way. Get them in and convert the opp or get them out and unqualify it. Either way, you are doing yourself a favor in helping keep the good leads and get the bad out of your system so you aren't following up on people who don't want your help.

Remember, that just because you reached out once this way doesn't mean that this is the moment they will respond. Be persistent and make sure you are reaching out until you get them on the phone or until you get an answer. 

Don't you think you deserve that after the hard work you put into your research in the prospecting process? 

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Topics: sales coaching, sales prospecting, sales process, prospecting, smart prospecting, smart sales, sales and timing, more human sales prospecting

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