Twitter is probably not most people’s first port of call when they set out to do B2B sales. Apart from the obvious offline activities like meetings, phone calls and networking, you are probably using some online tools as well. Some companies use their blog to attract interest; others will be on LinkedIn prospecting new clients, the cutting edge folks are even on Facebook. Twitter is probably not really in the equation.
Let’s say you are the sales manager for an automotive supplier, your R&D team have come up with a great new windshield wiper that you know automaker X will be interested in.
You know who the product manager is at the automaker but you have zero contact details. You have tried calling, tapping up your network and even sending a brochure – no dice. Time to look at those online options.
You can probably find the product manager on LinkedIn but you can’t send a direct message as you are not connected. The only option here is to be referred by someone else, a process which can take a few days.
You could look the manager up on Facebook but chances are she will have draconian privacy settings and she’ll completely ignore any friend request or email you are able to send through.
Cap'n Tweet to the rescue
Your last resort is Twitter, where you find her and start following. Note that Twitter by default doesn’t require her to approve you following her, as would Facebook or LinkedIn. You can now follow what she is up to and get a feel for what type of person she is by her tweets. Make sure you give her a day or so to follow you back. If she doesn’t, that’s fine as you don’t know each other…. Yet.
You are of course tweeting out value content about your industry, mentioning windshield wipers every now and then. She might pick up on this, she might not. Retweet some of her content and she is certaintonotice who you are. You are likely to get a thank you or similar message for helping to promote her content and this is your moment.
Tread carefully now and don’t go in all guns blazing with your pitch. Wait for her to either engage in a discussion or ask an open question – here is your chance to make contact. You will have to have a few exchanges before you have proven that you are a legit Tweeter and normal person. Once she knows, likes and trusts you it’s time to go in for the kill.
Start by tweeting about your product launch in general. If that doesn’t work, make it specific to her either by mentioning her in the tweet or sending a direct message (DM). If she shows interest, take the conversation off Twitter and continue preferably on the phone or even in person. It’s now up to you to sell them wipers like your life depended on it!
This tweeting business doesn’t have to be time consuming. It will take you a few minutes per day, and I am sure you will pick up more customers from it as a result. Twitter is increasingly being used as a B2B platform for reaching out to decision makers – make tweeting your second nature and you will reap the rewards.
Be sure to check out the post on How to Create a Twitter Marketing Strategy as well for more tips.
Questions or ideas? Please let me know in the comments section!