A few days ago I was interviewed about social media and selling if you are working in a business to business organisation.
The big questions were:
2) when and
3) how you should use Twitter to sell your products and services.
All online presence and relationships and matter when you are in sales. I used to be a key account manager for a large certification business in Sweden before social media was as big as it is today. Then I had myself, a phone and my email account use when I connected with my clients. If you are working in sales today you have tools such as blog posts, Twitter and LinkedIn.
I have a friend who works in China. He used to have zero online presence and it caused him problems.
He was starting to work in partnership with an American company, and before they did any further business with him and the company he co-founded he had to set up a full profile on LinkedIn. They felt as if he didn’t exist before he did that. Everyone in the company in the US wanted to check out his history and what he had been up to.
When you are at the beginning in the business process you are going to check out a few details and background on social media. If you are about to do big business the parties involved will do their due diligence where they will look into credit history and what kind of insurance and certificates a business has.
Some social media experts say that we are not in B2B, but in H2H – business to business, but human to human.
Well, of course that is the case. We are always doing business with people, but the brand and behaviour behind the person matters hugely as well.
I once worked with a journalist at one of UK’s older publications. His way of checking someone’s credibility was to scan the person’s tweets for the last week. If there was nothing there he would look somewhere else.
A friend of mine is quick at googling new people she meets at conferences and events. She walks away and does a two-minute check up, and she forms a picture of who the people are by looking at some of their social media accounts.
Another acquaintance always uses Klout and checks out the score a person has on there as part of his research. If they have a low Klout score they essentially have to explain themselves why. He wants his potential business partners to have an open online profile and be active online.
What you say about yourself and what others say about you online is your ‘live CV’. How you use social media for sharing your knowledge and the way you speak online is big part of who you are.
There are lots of interesting connections to be made on social media and your social media accounts are part of your online passport.
A good profile gives you both credibility and more clout.