How to sell more managed services (Part 2 of 3: leveraging social media)

By Tan Ansari, Inside Sales Manager, N-able by SolarWinds
Once upon a time cold calling was the number one technique for generating sales. It still works. But in today’s sales 2.0 environment, social media has emerged as a key success factor for engaging new prospects, demonstrating value, and getting sticky with new and current customers.
Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram – and others are all finding their way into the MSP’s sales tool kit. 
What’s most effective?
At the top of our list is Linkedin and Twitter.  Used correctly these are fantastic, high return prospecting tools. I say ‘correctly’ because in the case of Linkedin, many MSPs tend to use this like they use Facebook. In so doing they miss the targeted power of what Linkedin has to offer.
Build prospect lists with Lead Builder
Our top MSP partners use LinkedIn Lead Builder to reach new prospects with rifle precision. They create and save prospect lists for specific industry verticals by city and region. Using search filters they zero-in on specific decision makers, company size, and years of experience. This is a great tool for building a very high quality list.
Ask for introductions
From there they look for mutual connections and ask for introductions. To do this with appropriate etiquette they explain why they want to be introduce – stressing how they can help. And they explain how they want to be introduced. When you make a connection, make it relevant. Customize your message to make your prospect takes notice. This usually takes a bit research on the person or company so that you can zero-in on something that will be useful.
Post comments and join business interest groups
Of course they also join discussions on Linkedin Groups. There is a wide range of groups for professional associations and business interests. By doing a key word search that is relevant to your industry, you’ll identify many opportunities for connecting and inserting a helpful comment.
Twitter provides a personal stage
Twitter is like having all of your prospects together in one room with the ability to effortlessly present up to the minute information. Provided that information has value, you will have followers. Above all try to inspire them and motivate them to get engaged in a conversation. For example: “Can you afford downtime and what would that cost per year?”
Tweet or follow?
You need to do both. Like any platform you need to establish your goals. Ask the basic questions: who are you trying to reach? What specific problems can you solve? What can you say that will position you as a helpful, trusted resource?
Our top MSPs also usually link their tweet to a blog or some website content that provides helpful information – or they link to other people’s content.
Think like a user first
Above all, when you are using any social media platform remember: social media users are there for anything but advertising and marketing. Think like a user first and a sales rep second. You can do a lot to increase your traffic, and grow your business with social media in ways that don't turn off users, but engage, intrigue and excite them.
In part 3, we’ll talk about lead gen strategies used by top MSPs.
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