Several articles caught my eye recently and both will be helpful to your new business strategy.

First is CMOs: Social Media Key, But We Are Clueless.

The title alone shows where opportunity lies for the right agency and there are some prime stats on big data and the inability of CMO’s to analyze it with any measure of depth.

But the article’s focus is on social:

In addition, 66% of CMOs surveyed said their companies are unprepared to handle social media, where the “rate of change seems faster than many can cope with.” That’s a slight improvement over 68% in 2011.

Another opportunity for the right agency.

But in order to capitalize on the opportunity, you need to walk your own walk and that means using social for your own firm, a process I see far too many agencies handling poorly.

Enter article #2 from Meghan M. Biro in Forbes, Meet The Top 30 Social Salespeople In The World.

The 30 she lists are interesting and worth a look at their respective feeds, but more importantly are the five lessons she gathered based off the habits of these 30.

Besides being good advice, full disclosure that each falls in line with the agency new business advice we give on this blog.

Prospects Are Clueless

Each lesson below with brief commentary from yours truly:

1)      Lesson 1: Meet your prospects on the networks they actually use

This may sound familiar as I preach it regularly: Don’t use Twitter, to use one example, if your prospects aren’t there.

And it’s not hard to find out, per Koka Sexton in the article:

 Look at any of the prospect’s social media profiles, like Twitter, LinkedIn, and maybe their blog. During the buying cycle, don’t rely only on email and the phone to stay connected. Engage people through social media as well to make sure you are covering them from all sides.”

2)      Lesson 2: “Socially surround” prospects using all the tools at your disposal

Absolutely. From the article:

We practice a strategy called ‘social surround’ where we use multiple sources of social media and even online advertising on social media to influence and gain intelligence about a prospect.

This is something we practice at RSW/US, however it’s not just socially-focused, it’s every channel: direct mail, social, email and phone.

And the article makes another good point in regards to your prospecting-your prospects are only getting younger.

Millennials, Gen X and Gen Y professionals, are now buyers.  “Even if they are not using social media as a place to participate, they grew up on social networks and are definitely influenced by it.

3)      Lesson 3: Not all social media is created equal – choose your networks carefully

This is interesting and one I haven’t covered before specifically.

While research is essential to your prospecting, one unofficial motto I often recount to agency prospects in regards to our services-you’re (potentially) hiring us to be your sales team, not your research firm.

Point being, if you’re spending too much time researching, your new business effort will most likely suffer. Per the article:

I have watched salespeople spend tremendous amounts of unproductive time on sites like LinkedIn with nothing to show for it. Sales managers fire salespeople that don’t sell.

Clueless-2

4)      Lesson 4: Get your higher-ups on board

Fairly self-evident but I can also provide a case-in-point.

Below is part of a direct LinkedIn conversation I had with an agency new business director:

I have been pushing for our agency to be more active in digital and social, but I am receiving push back. The belief among many is that since our target is narrowly focused (multicultural / Fortune 500 / $500,000-$5,000,000 budgets) our best use of resources is not in digital and social.

It’s a struggle I’ve heard more than just this new business director relate. Per the article:

Executives who come from another era of marketing, communications and leadership…don’t understand the value of empowering entire teams to be social communicators – they just see the risk or they outright see it as a liability.”

Part of my answer at the time and now-so many social channels are free, take some initiative and slowly create a Twitter feed or more robust LinkedIn presence.

5)      Lesson 5: Measure and hype your success stories

Again, self-evident and without doubt, measurement is key to ensure social is working for you.

And while I’m all about celebrating success, I would take a more measured approach when it comes to outward hype.

Too much will turn off your prospects.

As in life, it’s all about balance.

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Lee McKnight Jr
VP of Sales at RSW/US
I'm the VP of Sales at RSW/US. We specialize in working with services firms to help drive and close new business-if you need help with that, email me at lee@rswus.com. What I actually do: drive sales efforts to bring ad agencies and services firms on board with RSW, create content around successful new business tactics and help drive RSW/US marketing objectives, including social media channels, blog content, webinars, video and speaking engagements. Dig it.