Their Twitter profile looked legitimate. It had a professional looking picture, a well written bio and a customized banner.
So you followed them back. It always feels good when a professional finds your page and follows you first. It kind of feels like your social media content is catapulting your personal brand forward at great speed. And then blunt force trauma. An automated tweet or automated direct message from that professional looking profile smashes into your communication stream. You are jolted by the fact that this person is immediately requesting that you should “Like” their Facebook page, check their website, and schedule 30 minutes for a “quick chat.”
Don’t Be That Twitter Person…
Social media platforms are great communication channels for meeting new prospects and building your reputation, but you don’t want to be “that person.” Here are three important points to keep in mind.
1. You don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression. And the first impression doesn’t stop with your profile page. Yes, it definitely helped you get the follow back because you took the time to present your background in a professional manner. But using automation to make a bold request from someone you really don’t know yet is not a good strategy. In fact, many people immediately unfollow profiles demonstrating that type of behavior because it feels like you are now dealing with Bad Comedian Eli Manning.
2. Reevaluate your social media lead qualification process. We get it. You targeted certain profiles based on their job title, company, location or the hashtags they were using. And then you followed them hoping they would follow you back. They did, so you proclaimed instant interest and jumped all over them. The fact that you performed those tasks completely through automation made you feel both efficient and effective. However; you’ve just made a very bad tactical error because your “suspect” does not necessarily have the qualifications to be a “prospect.” And even if they do they will most likely be put off by your blunt initial approach.
3. Prepare to meet your new connection by developing a preapproach strategy and process. Wait a minute. I’ve already approached them; in fact, I’ve sent them my “happy to connect, let me know if I can help” message! No, even in the social media world, you really haven’t met them as it relates to their individual needs, desires or goals. Be honest, you’ve merely made assumptions based on their job title and a few hashtags and arbitrarily marked them to be a qualified lead. At this point you are demonstrating in the most direct way that you don’t care what motivates them or what their current goals might be, you just want their immediate attention and for them to get interested in what you have to sell.
There is a big difference between personal salesmanship and mass broadcasting. A professional sales person realizes that people are different from each other; they also know that the same person is different under different conditions. Your preapproach strategy and process should include time to study and learn in what respects your new high value connection is different and what might motivate them. Remember, we all have buying motives – that inner urge that makes us want a product or solution. But that motive is a psychological concept, not a material one. That is to say it’s in our minds, not in the product.