Okay… sounds like one of my creepier lead generation strategies. By follow, I don’t mean find your prospect’s home address and stalk him or her on the weekends. A restraining order would surely be damaging to your career.
Here’s my point — and it may sound obvious to some — use social media to your advantage when dealing with your best leads.
Take your top 20 prospects who have the highest probability of conversion and make a point to follow them on Twitter, LinkedIn, their corporate blog site, etc (avoid personal blogs and Facebook!). Don’t just follow them –retweet their posts, and leave a comment now and then if you have something interesting to add to his/her point.
Schedule a time each week to check on their updates and educate yourself on their topics of interests — an hour of pure following and reading up on recent social activity. Save any interesting links in your CRM for future use.
Assuming that your expansion stage business has completed market segmentation research, all of your leads should fall within a certain category– similar industry, role, pain points, etc. More than likely, an article that one of your leads posts on Twitter or blogs might interest another lead who has not yet read the piece. Do you get where I’m going here? Spread the word… share valuable content with your leads and score some major brownie points.
On a more serious note — know when you are crossing the line. Moderation is key, particularly if the prospect is not responding to your comments, etc. The point of “following” is to educate yourself on your prospect’s personality and passions, and also prove to him or her you are on top of your game, a fan of their work, and knowledgeable about their topics of interest. You don’t want to annoy the person, so exercise sensitivity when it comes to “over doing it” as many sales people tend to do.
In a nutshell, find a good social media engagement rhythm and show your prospect you are a respectful (and knowledgeable) admirer — the individual will likely feel flattered, and flattery can go a long way in this world!