Can you imagine Edward Lytton’s reaction to twitter? He is the guy who is credited with the saying “the pen is mightier than the sword” in 1839. Today he might have chosen a different metaphor if he’d seen what you could do in Twitter with only 140 characters (including word spaces), and who those characters can be reaching.
This isn’t 19th century. Heck it’s not even 15 years ago, and if your CRM strategy was developed before Twitter, MySpace, nings, YouTube and Social Networking came into being, it’s time to upgrade. It’s the age of social CRM.
Social CRM is not a substitute for traditional CRM. Instead, what emerges is a new, outward-facing multi-dimension that extends into the operational areas of CRM itself. Striking at its very heart. That new dimension is inevitably more successful if you’re building off a strong foundation in traditional CRM, but you can play catch up if your quick on your feet, can gain an understanding of SM and even surpass your competition stuck in traditional CRM thinking
Social CRM is about joining in on conversations between customers and prospects while resisting the urge to control those conversations. Customers today have more power over who they do business with, and how that business is conducted. And the Web is totally entrenched in their buying process. So if you’re not on the Web in ways to capture their attention, you won’t be able to compete. You need to engage them in your knowledge not inundate them in your message
And while cost is a major factor in the buying process of any marketing/advertising buy, especially in this economic climate, your web-savvy customers expect more from you and your competition to woo away those precious dollars. These social customers want companies to listen to their cares and concerns, to use the social media channels they use, and to actively participate with them in transparent conversations.
According to the 2008 Cone Business in Social Media Study, 60 percent of Americans use social media, with 59 percent of those users interacting with companies on social media sites. Additionally, 93 percent of social media users feel companies should have a social media presence with 56 percent of them saying they feel a stronger connection with companies that do. Be there or be square.
Twitter’s rise has been dramatic, and many companies use it to communicate with customers and prospects. But when I bumped into my sales mentors Hank Trisler (you can twit him at http://twitter.com/trisler ) in sales my jaw dropped. I mean here is a guy whose cassette tape series NO Bull Selling I played over and over and virtually memorized and still utilize many of the timeless basic principles today. Not only that but he retweeted. Do I feel plug in? Yes. I think of the people I might be talking to inspiriting and even connecting with to gain new accounts for my company. They are out there, saying it like it is in 140 characters plus word spaces.
Larson note: SM can only be done and learned by doing it. Pick up a book, which was written 3 months ago and it will help but even in that time SM will have moved evolved and changed. Jump in and find your clients. Then in 140 characters or less, engage them.
Larson & Associates
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