Expert Point of View

Rob Begg

Chief Marketing Officer
Introhive

Four Mistakes That Even the Best Salespeople Make on Twitter

You know that social media is an important part of sales and that it can play a role in nurturing and establishing relationships. You also know that top sales professionals consider relationships to be the most important part of sales. But do you know how to use Twitter correctly? Are you making the same mistakes that many salespeople are making as you read this post?

I want to share with you five mistakes that even the best salespeople make. My hope is that you’ll be able to take these insights and help them guide your approach to Twitter so that you achieve success.

1. Don’t cold-tweet potential prospects. I have a friend who has worked in sales since the days of cassettes and Polaroids. He’s excellent at his job—very likable, intelligent and a great performer. But when it comes to social selling, he’s struggling to understand that things aren’t done the same way they were in the early ‘90s.

One of the first lessons he learned when he began using Twitter as a selling tool was to avoid cold-tweeting. He developed a private list for his prospects and began planning his approach, which was good. The problem, however, was how he used these lists. He would regularly send mass tweets and private inbox messages that pitched his product and pushed for demos. He even had an automatic message with the same content sent out to all of his new followers.

This approach does not work for many reasons. First, it doesn’t work because it defies the principles of Twitter. Twitter is about engaging in meaningful conversation over shared interests. Second, it doesn’t work because people want personalization and relevance. If you’re sending mass content, you’re sending generic content, and that’s not what a prospect wants from a potential partner or vendor.

2. Don’t start selling too soon. I like to believe that social selling is a lot like dating. The expectations around how you handle yourself on a date are very similar to the expectations around how you handle yourself when communicating with a potential prospect on Twitter.

Rushing into a selling relationship on Twitter is a recipe for disaster. Instead, focus first on setting the relationship groundwork by sharing content of value with your prospects and, in-turn, share their content with others. This will help build trust with your prospects so that when it’s time to do business, your prospects will be more comfortable with agreeing.

3. Don’t send content that doesn’t offer value. Let’s just call it spam. Stop it. Don’t waste your time, and don’t think that your followers can’t see through the extreme automation you have associated with your account. In fact, automating your account 100 percent of the time is doing your personal brand more harm than good. 

Spamming content on Twitter means that you are not creating and sharing relevant content, sparking thoughtful discussions or sharing content of value with your followers. Instead, you’re sharing generic intros to blog posts and links or auto-filled tweets from your own website. These types of spam tweets often get lost in the crowd and rarely inspire users to engage with them by clicking the link, re-tweeting or sharing the content.

Again, it’s important to understand who your prospects are and tailor your content to their interests.

4. Don’t just curate; create, too. While a good part of your time spent on Twitter should be the content that others develop, most of the content that you share should be your own. When the content you share drives back to your company site or your own resources, it increases the value associated with your product and what you can offer a potential client or prospect.

Many sales professionals spend too much time sharing other people’s content and too little time creating their own. Finding that balance can be a challenge, but it’s important to position yourself to your prospects as an industry leader, a thought leader and an expert.

Now that you have so much more time on your hands, tweet us some of your tips to selling efficiently on Twitter.

 

Bio

As Introhive's Chief Marketing Officer, Rob Begg is responsible for ensuring that sales has the leads, tools and awareness needed for success. Prior to joining Introhive, he was Vice President of Product Marketing for Salesforce's Marketing Cloud. With almost two decades of experience and a background that includes marketing and sales enablement for five start-ups, Begg is often sought to speak and comment on social, content and online marketing for high-growth businesses.