How many direct messages do you get each day that you ignore or delete?
If you’re like most of us, the answer is: Too many.
Just because so many folks are mis-using direct messaging as a prospecting method doesn’t mean it doesn’t work, and that open up an incredible opportunity for salespeople willing to leverage digital platforms as part of their outreach.
Jessica Rhodes has found a lot of success using direct messaging, so we sat down with her to discover exactly how she – and her salespeople – make it happen.
Because we’re trimming hope from our sales strategy, we’ll use the acronym TRIM to guide us through creating a system with a trigger, ensuring it’s repeatable, building in ways to improve it and of course, ensuring it’s measurable and getting us results.
T- Trigger: First, we have to start with folks to reach out to on social media platforms. These may be people that are part of online groups you’re part of or administer, folks in your online network, or people who have engaged with your brand by responding to a marketing message or visited your showroom.
Check their social media accounts across the platforms you communicate through and see how active they are – it’s a clear indicator of how easy it will be to get them to see your connecting request and subsequent messages.
Once we have someone to reach out to, we need to communicate in a way that doesn’t immediately ask the prospect to buy from us. It’s too early at this point in the sales process, according to Jessica, to pitch folks. Instead, we should start by understanding more about their challenges and the things they might be struggling with or in what ways they want more success.
R – Repeatable: To ensure salespeople spend time in any area of outreach, Jessica says it’s essential to get calendar blocks established. This especially applies to using direct messaging on social media platforms.
Once salespeople have this type of outreach on their calendars, the next step is to have questions prepared that help you understand what challenges your prospects have. A prospect’s responses to your questions will let you know whether that person is qualified as a buyer, what stage they or their business is in, and what challenges they may be having that you can provide solutions to.
I – Improvable: To ensure your online outreach continues to get better, Jessica recommends we never stop learning and studying communication as salespeople. This means reading books on sales, prospecting, copywriting and leveraging social media as a sales tool.
Because questions are what keeps a sales conversation (or any conversation) going,
M – Measurable: In addition to the common sales metrics of meetings driven, proposals issued and sales made, Jessica also measures the response rates of the questions her salespeople ask via direct messaging. When she notices a positive trend or prospects responding well to a particular question, she ensures the other salespeople on her team know about it.
Direct messaging doesn’t have to be your only method of prospecting, but if you’re going to use it, ensure you’re keeping a good conversation going!