Smiling and dialing died about five years ago.
I should know. I was one of those smile-and-dial corporate B2B sales reps, from 1999, until 2002. I left that world when I was 24. And I have no regrets about being one of those guys. I learned how to get past the gatekeeper. I learned how to sell explicit benefits over features and advantages. I got to work under Steve Winandy, one of the best damn sales managers in the world, at CDW Computer Centers, way back in the day.
So, my business partner Jacob and I have a big call to do, tomorrow, with the President of a really big hotel. So, here’s how we prep for selling to the social customer (who, if you read on, turns out is not-so-social, himself), Mr. President-Of-A-Big-Hotel. This is an important economic decision-maker, and this is how we socialize the sale, step-by-step.
1. We met the prospect, who we’ll call Jane, at a conference a few weeks ago. Connect to Jenny across all key social channels that she uses (LinkedIn, her Twitter, her company’s Twitter). Subscribe to all key social channels related to the hotel (Facebook, Twitter, etc.).
2. Enter all of this data in our Social CRM, Salesforce, and dump down all social information, manually, into it.
3. Do first call with Jane, using our social sales data that InsideView pumps into Salesforce, along with the social data we’ve already garnered. (The first call went really well, by the way.)
4. Send Jane a copy of my first book, There Is No Secret Sauce, as well as my partner Jacob’s book, Twittfaced. Begin researching everything on Jane’s boss, the economic-decision-maker, using InsideView. Scraped data from PR Newswire and a number of other sources, since InsideView/Jigsaw didn’t actually have any data on this prospect. Added all bio information we could find to the opportunity in Salesforce, read the key company emails that were voluntarily forwarded over by our prospect, Jane.
5. Prep for our second call with the hotel, and Jane and the economic decision maker, with all of our social data. We know that the prospect has a financial background, we know where he’s worked for the last 20 years, we know where he went to school, and we know, as best as we can, what his direct reports think are the 2011 company priorities. It ain’t perfect, but it’s a hell of a lot better than what we could have gotten by smiling and dialing.
You can call this good prospecting, or you can call it good research, but this is just another day in the life of a social sales professional. Nothing fancy, nothing new. Feel free to leave any questions on this post, and I’ll answer them. Always happy to help with the block-and-tackle.