“It was an honor to be interviewed by Joan Curtis (left) for inclusion in her and Barbara Giamanco’s (right) book on social media. To this day, I use it as a quick reference guide, and a source of new social media implementation ideas. The great thing about social media is that it gives you the ability to glean relevant, affordable strategies from successful “role model” brands.” – Kathy Dunlay, President, New England Sales & Marketing
The New Handshake: Sales Meets Social Media
Social media have become the way for people and organizations to connect in today’s world of commerce. In fact, many companies are utilizing Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to turn “friends” and “followers” into customers. Social media experts and authors, Joan Curtis and Barbara Giamanco show, for the first time, how these powerful tools bring companies and customers together, creating fresh opportunities for sales in their new book The New Handshake: Sales Meets Social Media (Praeger August 31, 2010).
Social media offer an innovative and unique opportunity for customers to connect with brands as well as CEOs, who once seemed “untouchable”. According to the Huffington Post, Fortune 100 Companies are active users of the social media.
- 79% of Fortune 100s are present and listening, using at least of one of the main social platforms to communicate with customers.
- 50% of the Fortune 100 have a YouTube account and upload 10 videos, on average, a month.
- 82% of the Fortune 100 companies Tweet on a weekly basis, posting an average of 27 Tweets a week.
- Aberdeen Research group shows that companies that use social media sites are 17 times more likely to improve customer satisfaction.
“A new world of selling is emerging. Buyers are creating relationships that drive the sales process and social media provides new opportunities to communicate and connect. It’s networking without leaving the house,” said Giamanco, co-author, sales and social media strategist and CEO of Talent Builders, Inc. “The exception is that you can target who you want to connect with whereas networking events can be hit or miss.” She adds that this alone helps sales professionals better target quality prospects, build relationships and earn their trust, resulting in a more valuable sales lead and long term customer.
“We conducted a great deal of research to learn how the major companies are using social media for sales and customer service success, and compiled it for sales professionals in every level of business,” said Curtis, co-author, communications expert and CEO of Total Communications Coaching. “The New Handshake is the first book of its kind offering tips, based on what the experts are doing, for using the social media to create a sales strategy designed to shorten the sales cycle and increase closings ”
And the impact is huge considering the billion-dollar sales industry that includes everything from real estate to paper clips. The New Handshake offers tips and information for building a strong social media foundation with its applications to sales, including:
- how to create and present a social media profile
- what kind of content attracts followers
- how to brand yourself as an expert using social media
- how to approach prospects
- how to manage social media time to be most efficient
- how to “pitch” followers and social media friends
- how to turn social media friends into customers
The New Handshake: Sales Meets Social Media is the first of its kind book to show how social media can be a powerful sales tool for companies of all sizes. Using research based on the success of several Fortune 100 companies, authors Joan Curtis and Barbara Giamanco provide a road map for sales professionals on using social media to connect with customers and generate more qualified leads.
Moreover, these major corporations manage their brand through social media so well that they are converting sales. Dell, for example, sold $6.5 million on Twitter. Authors of The New Handshake: Sales Meets Social Media, Barbara Giamanco and Joan Curtis discuss how Fortune 100 companies are doing it and provide tips for sales professionals who work in both large and small businesses. They make it clear that the time has come for sales to join the social media team.
Kathy Tito Dunlay
President and Founder, New England Sales & Marketing