How to Use Twitter for Sales Prospecting

I am involved in an industry where something that can be difficult to conceive in one day can change the world in just a few months.


Today I’d like to chat a little about how you can use Twitter to identify hot prospects and begin a conversation with them that can lead to a strong relationship. You can accomplish this without leaving your desk. And without even picking up your phone!


Step one – Identify hot, profitable keywords

"How do I do that?” is a common question when this subject comes up.


The best way is to brainstorm a broad keyword that buyers might type into a search engine to find you.


For example, if you are a website development company, and you checked the Google keyword tool, you’d find the keyword “Web development” is searched for an average of 1,220,000 times per month as of the date of this publication. That’s a pretty hot keyword as far as search volume. The people using this keyword to search have commercial intent nearly 90% of the time. It isn’t exclusively about search volume, it’s much better to go after highly targeted buyers that are ready to buy.

Step two – Identify people with needs

Now that you’ve identified your hot, profitable keyword, find people who have needs related to this keyword. Twitter has a search box on the right hand side of your page when you log in. Once you are logged in, enter your keyword inside quotations (“Web development”) and click the little magnifying glass next to it. Once you’ve done this you will be presented with real time results with the most recent updates first.


Step three – Listen to what they are telling you

Review each result and quickly evaluate whether you can help them or not. The beauty of this search feature is that new results will constantly come in so, this one search could keep you busy all day! You’ll never run out of people to help! The system won’t automatically dump them onto your screen - this is good! Once you’ve pored through the most recent results, simply look at the top of your results to see how many new results have come in and click “refresh” to see them.


Step four – Deliver VALUE and don’t be that guy (or gal)

Remember part one of this series where we talked about the salesperson? They attend networking events and run around the room “glad-handing” everyone, cramming their business card in each person’s hand. Don’t be that guy!


Evaluate each of the results presented and ask yourself, “What are they asking for and how can I help?” Their “tweet” is an invitation to begin a conversation, not an invitation to apply an aggressive closing technique.


Using the Web development example, you might want to create a report on How to Plan and Develop a Successful Website. If you see that your buyers are thinking about developing a new site you might want to reply and send them a link to a free report. If they have a question about their website, perhaps you could answer their question.


Keep in mind, as you reply to these people, your replies are visible on your profile page and the content could show up when others are conducting searches of their own. This recycling of information will help you build credibility and display your expert knowledge within your industry.


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