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Four Steps from Social Strategy to Successful Sales

by Randall Craig on October 18, 2013

Filed in: Blog, Business Development, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Social Media, Time management

Tagged as: , , ,

With all of the focus on social media strategy, wouldn’t it be nice to actually use social media to grow sales? Not improve awareness, develop the brand, help with marketing, or “continue the conversation”. But actually sell.

Here are four ways that social media can be use to sell services. (Stay tuned next week for Social product Sales Strategies.)

  1. Prepare your profile:  While many people think of their own profiles as “personal”, they are not: prospective clients may look at your profile to decide whether you have the experience to address their problem.  In other words, your profile may determine if they will meet you.
  2. Scan for opportunities: Instead of “conversations”, use your social media time to look for organizations that have a problem you can solve. The clues come from three key places: status updates from your connections, questions asked in LinkedIn groups, and queries on Twitter. Set yourself up to monitor these sources using a tool like Hootsuite.
  3. Pick up the phone: Before any critical meeting, check the prospect’s footprint on the major social networks. Beyond getting clues about the prospect’s background – and what is important to them – their profile will expose your mutual connections. Pick up the phone to these people to learn even more about your prospect’s motivations and modus operandi. Then start your sales meeting with a question: “I notice that we both know [insert connection’s name] – how did you meet them?”
  4. Build a referral network: Referrals are the lifeblood of a successful sales effort.  Testimonials that appear as LinkedIn Recommendations, Endorsements, and LinkedIn company page followership are examples of this.

These ideas mirror a traditional sales process:  Awareness, Prospecting, Meeting, and then post-sales referral.  The goal is alignment.

This week’s action plan:  Whether your role is in sales or not, it’s time to change how you use your social network: move from a passive mode to a more active one.  A great way to start?  Pick up the phone – a computer is not your client: a real person is.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)  Professional credentials site Web strategy, technology, and development
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Randall has been advising on Digital Strategy since 1994 when he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail's GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations. He is the author of eight books, including Digital Transformation for Associations, the Everything Guide to Starting an Online Business, and Social Media for Business. He speaks and advises on Digital Transformation, Digital Trust, and Social Media. More at

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