the past few years, since I began using this weekly blog to share stories about
sales and sales management, I have been receiving numerous questions from
readers including my own clients. Over the next several months I am going to
use my weekly ramblings to post one reader question with my answer. Please note
– my answers are based on my personal and professional experiences and in no
way reflect my company or specific clients.
Q: What do you believe are the best and
worst current trends or tools being used by sales people?
A: My answer to this question is social
media for both the best and the worst. Social media can be a sales person’s
best friend if used properly. LinkedIn, for example, is an amazing application
based on connectivity. You have the ability to not only make connections with
your customers, but with prospects as well. A sales person no longer needs to
make cold calls if they know how to use LinkedIn to warm the initial call up.
Research on companies and who the right people are to contact are at your
fingertips. But, just as powerful as LinkedIn can be, other social media
platforms like Facebook can be a detriment to a sales person. Forget the “time
suck” that is Facebook, but when a sales person connects with customers on
Facebook they are opening up their personal lives for evaluation and potential
criticism. Politics, religion, parenting styles, hobbies, you name it, are on
display on peoples Facebook pages. A sales person runs the risk of alienating
or upsetting the customer relationship because of the personal agenda. It is
wise to use and manage LinkedIn carefully and even wiser to keep your Facebook
life separated from your business life.