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How to Sell via Social Media During The Holidays

With Black Friday already behind us, you can bet the holiday marketing season is already running red hot. The fact that people are busy will be of no surprise to most sales and marketing professionals who, despite knowing that their customers are run off their feet at this time of the year, still have to fill their sales quotas and will continue to hit the phones with their cold calls and (often) near desperate sales pitches. These calls are as welcome as a …. (actually, is anything more unwelcome as a cold call during the holidays?).

As someone who receives sales calls every single day, let me tell you, you will never sell to a busy man (or woman) with a cold call. In fact, you are more likely to disenfranchise your contact and hinder the chances of you ever working with them in the future.

Consider this:

(a)   People buy from people they like, trust and identify with.

(b)   People buy products or services that help solve problems.

(c)   If you become a problem you will never be liked or trusted.

This is perhaps best highlighted by a tweet pushed out by a friend (an online retailer) who was frustrated by the fact that he continued to be harangued by sales “professionals” on his busiest day of the year.

tweet

I appreciate that many sales people are between a rock (their managers) and a hard place (their prospects). The selling isn’t going to stop anytime soon – but perhaps the approach should be different.

A recent post on the excellent Hotel Authority website suggests the easiest way to sell is to offer something of value and then stand back and let them make the decision.

This means investing in really useful content and putting it in front of the right people at the right time and waiting for them to make a buying decision.

Social media provides the best possible distribution network for this content and will not only ensure it will be seen by prospects (in a non-obtrusive way) but also allows for two-way engagement (on your prospects terms) and social validation (where your prospects endorse your opinions and share with their community of peers).

Social validation of your content will of course help you sell to a wider group of people without those annoying cold sales calls.

So does this mean that cold calling is dead?

No – but with carefully distributed (useful, problem solving) content, your cold calls will be somewhat warmer. Just make sure you get the timing right.

Photo credit: Kevin Marks

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