Sales and Sales Management Blog

August 29, 2011

Guest Article: “Using Social Media for Sales Prospecting,” by Anita Campbell

Filed under: prospecting,sales,selling,Uncategorized — Paul McCord @ 12:25 pm
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Using Social Media for Sales Prospecting
by Anita Campbell

One of the hardest things for a sales professional is getting the right people to listen to you. Cold-calling is difficult, especially if you end up pitching someone who is not interested in spending money, or doesn’t have the authority to make decisions. That rejection is unpleasant, unhealthy, and it’s now unnecessary.

Social media offers the ability to reach out to people who are already talking about what you’re selling. All you have to do is find them, and that’s easier than you think once you’re using the right platforms, and using them in the right way. Imagine how your leads could grow if you placed your product in front of people who are already looking for it, and are in the mindset to spend. Not only would it be easier to turn prospects into leads, but you’d be saving everyone’s time and energy by reaching out to people already in the market for your product. That’s what social media can do for you, and your potential customers.

Searching for conversations on Twitter that are pertinent to your field is fairly easy because the majority of Twitter’s content is public. It’s made even easier by using the Advanced Search feature of Twitter. Before diving in, though, the first thing to do is brainstorm all the related topics of conversation you could insert yourself into that could potentially yield sales. You may find that multiple topics are relatable to your products or services. For example, if you’re a wedding planner, you may want to search conversations about photographers, bakeries, and invitations. Giving a soon-to-be bride advice may help her realize the number of decisions she must make, and that she needs your help.

Once you have a list of topics to search, use conversational wording in your searches to get better results. If you sell cars, search for “what car should I buy” or “buy a car” (don’t forget to specify a location!) as it will reveal a larger number of people asking for advice about what car they should buy. As a car sales professional, you’re an expert in the current market and what products are available, so why not offer advice? Be helpful in addressing their questions and needs, and create a conversation around what they’re looking for, and they may seek you out when they’re ready to buy.

If your business offers services, or your sales are B2B oriented, a good choice for social networking is LinkedIn. Not familiar with the site? It’s a social network aimed at companies and professionals, and gives them a place to connect with one another. While another great option for professionals is a business networking site, LinkedIn offers several features not found in other places.

One of these features is the Answers section, which is a way for professionals and business experts to give and receive business advice. Using the Advanced Answers Search feature, you can find questions that contain keywords related to your services. Answering these questions will give you the opportunity to share your expertise and knowledge, as well as information about the products or services you provide. By showing other members you have superior knowledge and great products or services, you may be able to foster connections with those asking questions, and explain how your business can help their own.

Just like LinkedIn Answers, Quora offers great opportunities for using questions and answers to reach prospects and encourage sales. While answering questions on LinkedIn offers the chance to connect directly with businesses asking questions about specific products or services, Quora allows you to position yourself as an expert in your field.

Quora is also similar to Twitter in that it’s designed for users to follow people who are thought leaders in their industry. The site organizes all the questions you answer under your profile so anyone who visits it can get a comprehensive view of your expertise. Because of this, answering questions regularly and on-topic with your products is important if you’re looking to attract certain prospects to your profile.

By using Twitter to get involved in current conversations, LinkedIn to answer direct questions from businesses, and Quora to showcase and promote your expertise, you’ll be on your way to developing the most strategic sales prospects for your business.

Anita Campbell is the Founder of the Small Business Trends website and CEO of BizSugar, an online community of small business owners.



  1. […] Guest Article: “Using Social Media for Sales Prospecting,” by Anita Campbell ( Tweet […]

    Pingback by Where the new rules include the old rules of marketing — August 29, 2011 @ 4:44 pm | Reply

  2. […] posts: “Using Social Media For Sales Prospecting” by Anita […]

    Pingback by 5 Amazing Things Social Media Is Doing To Sales | B2B Sales & Marketing Blog - — October 1, 2011 @ 9:36 am | Reply

  3. Social media is a good way in generating sales leads. Businesses can also combine their marketing endeavors by implementing outsourced telemarketing services to further their lead generation campaign. In fact, they can even outsource to a pay per appointment scheme to lower down expenses used for the outsourced service.

    Comment by Teri Peterson — October 21, 2011 @ 12:16 am | Reply

  4. Social Media sites are becoming an essential tool for many businesses these days, it makes one wonder if there is a tipping point between supply and demand, is there a balance to be found or can the amount of businesses subscribing to such sales tactics ‘drown’ out people using it to connect to people, as there is a certain point where users start to leave sites due to the amount of spam and advertising on them.

    Comment by Annie — November 23, 2011 @ 12:59 pm | Reply

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    Pingback by Application Of Incredibly Hot And Chilly Packs | outboundsalescalls633 — October 22, 2012 @ 2:18 pm | Reply

  6. […] creating these calls yourself!I dislike chilly-contacting. In a prior job, I had to do a lot of automated cold calling system. Even however, I pressed through it for a quite extended time, only because I was conditioned into […]

    Pingback by How To Efficiently Cold Phone A Client « coldcallcoverletterssample234 — November 3, 2012 @ 8:32 pm | Reply

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