Nice to Meet You….Now Let Me Tell You Your Life Story

By Brianne Murphy Miller, LCI Senior Public Relations Counselor

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Selling LCI’s services to clients has always been interesting – learning about a new company/product/category, meeting new people, brainstorming ideas. In the 17-ish years I’ve been glad-handing, writing proposals and giving presentations, the business world has changed…but the biggest change has been effected by social media.

Let’s say Suzie Doe shoots off an email asking me if we might be the right fit for their company. What’s the first thing I do? Certainly I visit the website, but almost concurrently I’m using LinkedIn/Facebook/Twitter to learn more about Suzie. Her company is in financial services but I learn on LinkedIn that she’s new to them and her background consists of 20 years in packaged goods. From Facebook, I find out that she a) doesn’t use privacy settings and b) recently traveled to China. Twitter yields a little more information – she’s a prolific commenter on women’s issues.

My proposal is geared towards her company’s stated goals but that doesn’t mean I won’t comment on her Twitter feed or ask if she knows Joe Schmoe from her old company. As a salesperson I know that when you’re selling services, a client purchases people as well as ideas. They want to work with those who show an interest in them as well as their company. Communications is a collaborative field – my work will be more effective if my client is engaged. So I engage…before signing a contract.

What’s your take on social media searches? What social media channels do you protect (if any) and which platforms are truly transparent?

Questions or comments? Please leave them in the comments section below or email Brianne at [email protected]

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4 Comments

  1. Hilary Burns Reply

    It’s true! One of the first things everyone does nowadays is a social media background check. Not being online at all is actually detrimental for your own personal brand too! Cheers, Hilary

  2. David Landis Reply

    Brianne – great thoughts on how to use social media in the sales cycle. I’ve also learned that people don’t want to do business with faceless companies – they want to do business with people they know, like and respect. And what better way to engage to grow a relationship with a prospect, other than social media? My favorite for the workforce is definitely LinkedIn. Many thanks, Brianne. Cheers, David

  3. Donna Reply

    Hi Brianne – your post underscores just how much research we can do on a specific person in a matter of minutes…how wonderful! I agree, being able to “connect” with your client on a personal level is of the utmost importance in our line of business. It makes it so much more enjoyable on both sides if you can talk about something other than just business. I went to lunch with a client last week and discovered that she and I share a love of baking, so now we can talk about what we’ve both been making in the kitchen from time to time – and we might even share a recipe secret or two!

  4. David Cumpston Reply

    I can barely remember the days when we worked without the “crutch” of social media to give us invaluable insight into myriad PR activities. It’s nice to see we’re all on the same page here! Regards, David