Describing how to grow your business with Twitter is a dicey and difficult issue, and I’ve been thinking about this post for a long time. It actually been weighing on my mind and has inhibited my ability to move forward with other posts, simply because I was not sure how to approach this important topic. So, let’s start with the negatives and move into the positives.
What are the negatives? Well, much the opposite of what many think, you cannot jump onto Twitter and start talking about what you sell or how you consult or how what you have or do is going to greatly enhance someone else’s business–or life. Quite simply, it’s not that simple. Unfortunately many who have set up a Twitter account, followed a few people, and have had a few follow them back, posted about what they do and how good they are at it, or listed information on a house they are selling, or that they are a Social Media Marketing expert, find it all for nothing. Then what do they say? “Twitter is a waste of time.” Well, if approached in this fashion yes, it is. Remember the movie “The Graduate” and the cocktail party where the guys says “I want to say one word to you, just one word: Plastics.” I love that quote! So here’s the Twitter version of it: “I want to say one word to you, just one word: Relationships.”
Yes, Twitter is about building relationships, and unfortunately that can be easily overlooked. Yet, it’s not about “Let me know how I can help your business.” The idea is to be MUCH more sincere. How? Easy, interact with people that are on Twitter, but do it sincerely. That means interacting with people who Twitter about things that interest you! Don’t ever look at a person as a ‘mark’ or ‘prospect,’ and you will actually develop more than relationships, you will develop friendships, as I have. When you find yourself looking forward to seeing your friends pop up on Tweet Deck or Seesmic, you will have gotten it–until you’ve reached that point, you haven’t.
In Part 2, I’ll talk about a specific experiences we’ve had developing relationships and actual friendships!
Tell me about your Twitter experiences, have you developed any great friendships as well?
Preston Ehrler, Webvantix
We’ve redesigned our own site and welcome your opinion–let us know what you think!
Preston Ehrler, Webvantix
A recent comment on this blog that spoke about overcoming objections prompted the writing of this post, simply because it reminded me of a conversation I had with a senior rep when I was in training at Merrill Lynch in the early 90s. I was frustrated with the fact that I had gotten rejected by a strong prospect, who would have become my largest account. Throughout the sales process I overcame objections, only to have yet another thrown up in its place, eventually the prospect went elsewhere, simply based on price. The senior rep said to me, you would have hated that relationship anyway, try to always focus on working with customers who want to work with you, and sincerely appreciate what you offer. Words to live by.
Recently Webvantix was working to land two pieces of business. One that had come to us via our website, the other that had attended a seminar we held on Social Media Marketing, who we initiated contact with via Twitter (I will get more granular on Twitter in our next post). At face value the prospect that had come to us via our site was more sizable, but proved over a three month period of time, to be unable to make a decision (classic paralysis-by-analysis), and kept throwing up objection after objection, that was, essentially, pulling Webvantix away from its core operating values. While it was important to win this customer, especially during such a soft economy, and classically quiet time of year (late November to late December), I began to remember my time at mother Merrill, “work with customers that want to work with you.” Yes, still words to live by. I shot off a quick e-mail to the prospect informing them that I believed it best if we did not continue to move forward in attempting to secure their business, and wished them well. Done and done, further aggravation and possible problems averted.
The second prospect, while smaller, was energetic, smart, and excited about what we offered. In reviewing our Before/After video as well as our quotations from our existing customers, we quickly reached a price-point with a flex-payment structure that worked for them, executed the necessary paperwork and were on our way! When they received their first proof, they quickly realized the stark difference between what they had, and what their new site will look like–and just in time as their late winter sales push is beginning. Oh, and did I mention, they have a second business that needs a new site, and have referred two other businesses to us. Well eclipsing the relationship that did not work out.
Remember, work with customers that want to work with you. Don’t force the fit, you will just end up with problems down the road. Words to live by.
Preston Ehrler, Webvantix
Next posting: Finding Customers on Twitter