Guest post by John Hooberman, Director of Business Development at Advaiya Solutions in Redmond
Gatekeepers. Mention this word to almost any salesperson and they will have to work to hide the negative visceral reaction that is occurring within in them.
Every salesperson knows that he or she has the best possible solution to whatever the problem may be. If only they could get in front of the decision maker and plead their case, show the demo, or walk them through the latest, greatest piece of whiz-bang marketing material. If only they could get the decision maker alone for a few minutes. What’s stopping them? The gatekeeper.
Unless your solution has enough buzz to be evident to any and all, the gatekeeper stands in your way as an associate that the decision maker trusts, and their job is to weed you out. You either have to woo the gatekeeper, or try to meet the decision maker through some other channel.
So what are your options? Do you pull a Bud Fox from Wall Street and take the blunt force approach? Some bit of James Bond/Mission Impossible subterfuge, to get in the side door? Meet and greets, happy hours, networking events, pitch dinners, and golf tournaments are all spots where you find salespeople hoping to make that right connection. The question here: Is this worth your time and effort? Perhaps.
A New Approach
Social Media, on the other hand, gives salespeople the ability to meet a number of incredibly diverse people in diverse industries who may be open to what the seller has to offer. Social allows us to reach the maximum amount of people, with the minimum amount of effort. We are able to sift and search and target our messages. Whether it is direct sales or creating new relationships, an effective social campaign can get you that much closer to getting past that road block.
Recently, salespeople have ranked Twitter as the most valuable social media platform for prospecting, even above LinkedIn. Twitter’s openness allows sales and marketing professionals to learn valuable information about leads, regardless of whether or not they are connected, and Twitter’s public nature makes cold outreach easy and acceptable.
So find a platform that helps you engage and engage. Look for help in targeting your message to people in the vertical you’re going after and get after it. Be rigorous and methodical, be engaging and engaged, and always remember why you’re here. Get social, get selling, and make that gatekeeper irrelevant.