Posts Tagged ‘Sales’

Facebook’s Subscribe: The Death of Fan Pages, or is it?

Facebook’s introduction of the “subscription” feature for profile pages has blurred certain lines between profile and fan pages for many individuals seeking to leverage social media to build their own personal brand and on-line presence.  This is particularly true for many sales people, agents, etc. who are looking to use Facebook as a way to communicate with customers and prospects.

Facebook fan pages were originally created for brands like Coke or Walmart and expanded out to be used by celebrities, organizations, places, and many others.  Many individuals who wanted to interact with fans, prospects, and customers also began to create fan pages since it was an effective way of separating their personal Facebook activity from their business or public Facebook presence.  In addition, fan pages provided lower barrier to entry in that it did not require the page to “approve” each follower / fan / friend.

Facebook recently introduced their subscription feature as a lightweight way for an individual to share his updates with a larger audience.  Similar to fan pages, a follower does not need approval from the page to access updates and the news feed.  To many, this seems like an easy way to create a fan page like public news feed without the trouble of creating a fan page.

So, is the subscribe function right for you?

Let’s start by comparing the three options:

 

Unless you have 5000+ private friends, a standard Facebook profile page will most likely meet the needs for your personal Facebook activities.  You can even start to segment your friends and updates (e.g. friends, family, work, etc.).  While you should almost always assume that anything you post on Facebook could be made public, it’s the best way to keep your political rants, shopping and listening habits, and pictures of your kid from being easily accessible.

 

Enable Subscribe

Some issues and thoughts with the subscribe functionality.

  • Most individuals prefer to control who can view their personal updates and information.  If you are using the “public” news feed on top of your personal profile to communicate with friends, you need to be continually thinking whether the post is for public or “friend” consumption.

Facebook Status Update

 

  • For those that are using it to build their personal brand, you’re missing out on all the benefits that come from a Facebook fan page – most notably reporting, targeting, and the ability to promote and advertise your page.  If you DO decide at a later time to create a Fan page, you’ve now got to go through the process of trying to get your subscribers to like your new fan page.
  • Some die-hards have taken the approach of managing both a subscription page AND a fan page.  See Mari Smith’s Fan Page and Profile Page for an example.

 

MariSmith1

Mari's Fan Page

Mari2

Mari's Profile Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • The biggest challenge this creates is the need to create yet another stream of content for your fans.  Do you post the same content to both?  You may already be managing your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Tumblr, Blog, etc. feeds.  Ask yourself what the incremental value will be for yet another feed.

Finally, there is a growing group of individuals – sales people, agents, employees, customer service representatives – who are looking to Facebook as a way to communicate with prospects and customers.  These people are particularly concerned with separating their work and home social streams and some may look to the subscribe functionality to meet that need.  There is an argument to be made however, that the dangers to be caused by possibly overlapping personal and work newsfeeds is even greater and could end up damaging either the employee or the company they represent.  Fan pages for each employee in conjunction with a well designed social media management platform (SMMP) such as One To One Global’s MessageMaker solution can provide a variety of benefits both for the employee as well as the brand or organization.

As you’re looking to leverage the power of social media, like anything else you’ll find that the tools and features available all have their respective pros and cons.  Before you blindly enable a new feature within your Facebook settings, be sure you understand the privacy impacts as well as your goals and challenges with that public news feed.

 

 

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Killer Social Media Sales Advice (Acquired From An Customer Insider)

Here’s the perfect world for today’s B2B sales guy:No Means No

  • You have a rolodex of thousands of C level executives who all know you by name and reputation.
  • Your marketing team is churning out quality leads dying to buy your product tomorrow.
  • Your product / solution is very unique and differentiable.
  • Every time you call someone to discuss your solution, they instantly call you back — upset that they missed your call in the first place.
  • Prospects immediately see the value in your pitch and are rushing to get their checkbooks out before you hang up the phone.

Is this the world you live in?  If so, please let me join you.

Realistically, sales can be painful. Cold calling involves bothering people that receive hundreds of similar calls selling similar products and solutions.  Your product, marketing materials, support team, etc. is never perfect and you’re always looking for ways to maximize our effectiveness – reach more people, find more leads, close more business.  We are all looking to rise above the noise and get people excited about what we’re selling.

As I was working to enhance my cold calling efforts, I came across the following excellent post by Kevin Doohan from Red Bull.   Kevin was kind enough to allow me to share it word for word on my blog.  I simply thought it was excellent advice that would be appreciated both by prospects, customers, and sales people (well, my competition can ignore this).

Give it a read and let me know your thoughts:

I appreciate it when a sales person is aggressive and wants to win. I appreciate it when a sales person is confident in their product and wants to be sure I get the opportunity to see it. I still feel there is PLENTY of room for improvement for most of the reps I hear from though. I decided to draft some thoughts on what works and what doesn’t here on the blog. Enjoy it! Much of this derived from actual email exchanges with identities withheld to protect the guilty.What doesn’t work are email exchanges like this:

Rep (who I’ve never met or spoken with before) email: I sent you some info last week that details how our 3 step platform can create millions of social media conversations for your brand…Did you have a chance to look at it? I know it was a lot of info so I wanted to review it with you personally. If you have 5 minutes this afternoon, I’d be happy to speak with you and answer any questions….If not, I’d love to set up time next week so speak for 15 minutes.

Me: thinking…This dude doesn’t know anything about Red Bull. This is the same email he would send Acme widgets and social media “experts” are pretty easy to find these days. No thanks.  my email response: Thanks for the email. No interest right now. All of our social media needs are being met.

Rep’s email response (canned again): Thanks for the quick reply. I understand. Lots of people say that but once they see our solution they say: “Wow, why didn’t my current agency tell me I could do that?” or “I didn’t even know that was possible to achieve.”. I’d love to set up just 15 minutes to review our solution so that you can see the difference it can make for your organization.

Me: (No response. I’m done.)

How frustrating.I currently have 800 unread emails in my inbox. I give this guy, who writes the lamest prospecting email ever, the courtesy of responding and he persists with the emails asking for an appointment. Not only is it not going to happen next week. It’s not going to happen ever. No means no. Find a better way to win clients. Do your homework.  BTW, you would not believe the firms that I get variations of this approach from. Major agencies and publishers looking for brand $$$ just do not put the work in. It’s super lame and I’m fed up with it.

The email below is an example of an approach that could work. I share it at the risk of getting 100 of these this week but I think the sales universe desperately needs some feedback from a brand.

Rep: Hi Kevin, <insert mutual friend’s name> suggested I drop you a line and ask if you would be interested in checking out our new social media platform.  I know Red Bull is doing a great job in the space with over 3.6m facebook fans and a quickly growing twitter following but are you engaging your fans as well as you could be? The recent <insert awesome Red Bull video name here> video is a great example of amazing content Red Bull has that could have a greater impact with through your social channels. I saw the video on the Red Bull YouTube channel and was BLOWN away. I wondered why it was not posted to your social channels and to the RedBullUSA.com website. Maybe you didn’t have time. Maybe you didn’t understand or see the opportunity. Maybe roles need greater clarity within your organization. I don’t pretend know what the challenge is but I’ve encountered them all.  I bet we can help and we would love the opportunity to do it.  If you can spare 30 minutes, I’d love to walk you through a solution that I think could be perfect for Red Bull in helping you maximize the impact of the content you generate from the amazing events you produce worldwide.

me: I’m likely to respond to this one. No guarantees… but the above is much better than the “I have no idea who you are but I want to show you my 3 step solution.” email.

I may or may not respond to the note above but it IS doing some important things. It is demonstrating that the seller knows something about Red Bull and/or me. It shows that the writer has engaged with and enjoyed our content. It admits ignorance of Red Bull’s specific strategy but confidence in the firms ability to grow our business.  The personal reference is especially important. I know everyone doesn’t know everyone but find a way. There is NO substitute for a referral from someone I trust.

Good luck reps. I guarantee from this point forward that if you send me something lame via email, you won’t even get a delivery confirmation receipt. BUT, if you share some awesomeness…maybe we can create some marketing magic together. I look forward to the opportunity!

Originally posted as “no means no – sales reps need to get a clue by Kevin Doohan”

Great blunt advice from someone on the other end of the phone, wouldn’t you agree?

A few of my takeaways (at least for B2B Sales):

  • Work a targeted list that you can manage vs. a list of thousands of leads.
  • If possible, become an expert on the industry you’re calling into.
  • Understand as much of your prospect’s business and how you can help them BEFORE you call or e-mail them.
  • Realizing realistically it’s impossible to become a complete expert on their industry or everything that prospect is doing, admit to a degree of ignorance while demonstrating that you can provide value to their business.
  • Not a bad idea to have a little sympathy for your prospects who may seem like he’s ignoring you (when he’s probably ignoring hundreds of people like you)

Back to the trenches….