Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Under Utilization of Social Media

Successful sales people usually focus on understanding their prospects demands/requirements in order to build a proposal that fit the prospects needs.   This level of feedback can only be gained through two way communication channels.  Some popular channels of two-way communication include person to person, by phone, email, and text message.  However, social media provides yet a new means to communicate with prospects and customers that if effectively leveraged can be utilized to provide not only a platform to promote its products and services but also a platform to gain feedback from customers to understand what customers want in terms of products, experiences, and services.  It befuddles me why firms don’t take full advantage of this new channel of communication.

A new poll from Netherlands based consultancy, Executive Learning Partnership, has found that while regular users strongly believe that social media has improved their relationships with customers, far fewer of those polled actually use it for business purposes.” Citing only 38% of the respondents to their survey say that they actually use social media for business purposes.

The ROI that social media provides far outweigh the drawbacks.   Sure a prospect or customer may post negative feedback about a firm’s products or services or maybe openly shared information is not something a firm wants its competitors to see.  But most business should agree that feedback itself is valuable rather negative or positive.  A firm should want to know what its prospects and customers are thinking, especially if it’s negative and could potential result in loss of business.
To take full advantage of the benefits social media provides a firm should have a “living” social media presents.  As such they should be able respond to inquiries within social medial much like inquiries can be responded to by phone, in person, or by email.   Social media is simply a new means of two way communication and it should be utilized as such.

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