Congratulations, you’ve just found an easy way to find people who can make a difference to your bottom line.
I’m going to give you some incredibly useful tips for using Google and Linkedin to discover rich details about the exact type of person you want to reach out to.
Just keep in mind that you never know what type of information really exists about an individual, community, or business until you do some research.
(This is an example covering some tidbits about Boeing Employee Credit Union.)
Why am I writing this?
One of the most common questions I get is from professionals who are trying to sell something.
In the business world someone is always trying to sell something…
but the act of selling comes with a very difficult hurdle of locating people you can sell to.
That hurdle is made even more challenging as the price of your service or product increases,
the available pool of prospects with buying authority decreases.
Many businesses spend hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to reach new prospects through all sorts of crazy marketing campaigns. They try events, mass mailings, executive interviews, public relations, online marketing, and buy all sorts of over used marketing lists.
At the end of the day they could have just thought about using Google.
(with some help from Linkedin…)
Social Media for Sales – Tip #1
Establish your target profile.
If you are on Linked already, open up your profile and review the top 5 to 10 people in your network who were ‘perfect decision makers’ to talk to. If you don’t have enough people in your own account, check out some related professionals in your network that have been successful doing what you want to do.
Take note of the industries, companies, and titles of these individuals. Write down each individual’s Linkedin URL.
View each person’s individual profile.
Take note of the sidebar area where it says
“Viewers of this profile also viewed…”
Browse through this area and write down another set of industries, companies, and titles of these individuals.
Social media for Sales – Tip #2
Building Your Social List
Go to Google.com
I am going to teach you about a highly useful search parameter:
The “site:” parameter forces Google to return only search results from a specific site. When combined with a few other parameters you can develop a long list of people to reach out to.
As an example I’m going to search for all senior executives at BECU.
(Boeing Employee Credit Union)
Google Search – site:linkedin.com (director OR vp OR vice president) + at becu
This search result will give me 1,440 results, additional parameters could be added around geography, department function, company, and title to focus on high-value individuals.
As a general query it contains plenty of information points on page one.
- Vice President of Technology Services
- Vice President of Human Resources
- Vice President of Portfolio Management
- Vice President of Compliance
- Vice President of Legal
Some of the 1,440 results are not actually positions at BECU. They are actually connections to other business professionals at like-minded organizations.
This data allows me to see two things very quickly: the overall executive and organizational structure of BECU, as well as top-level connections to other industry groups.
A business development professional could spend plenty of time following up with this audience.
Social Media Tip #3
Researching the Company
Google has some other useful links for researching press announcements and official partnerships.
These types of online declarations can be reviewed by simply using the “link:” paramater that would look like this example:
Google Search – link:becu.org
This will show us dozens of sites that link to the becu.org hompage.
If you want to sort by date you can use Google’s search tools to filter by recency and specific time frame.
Two additional searches that often pull up interesting data uses the parameter “filetype”
- filetype:ppt becu (522 Powerpoint results)
- filetype:xls becu (1590 Excel spreadsheet results)
These filetype searches can be extremely damaging in the wrong hands.
By examining different search terms, an aggressive or criminal organization can often find data files that were unknowingly posted by an employee, vendor, or client. The nature of Powerpoint and Excel files in relationship to a credit union or financial group typically refers to sensitive financial data or forward looking business strategies.
Social Media for Sales – Bonus Tip
Finding Individual Details and Getting Social
If you are looking to research someone online and want to get a quick snapshot of how they appear online, we can take the lists we generated above and use a simple query on Google to locate them on social platforms.
Google Search: “john doe” site:facebook.com OR site:twitter.com OR site:linkined.com
(you can add a city/state parameter such as Seattle,WA if you are seeking local prospects.)
Wrapping up Your Social Media for Sales Strategy
The above audience list is just the beginning.
Once you have generated a list you need to sit back and apply a reasonable business strategy for reaching these individuals and converting them into the right call-to-action.