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I recently attended a meeting where a debate started on whether social media was “admin”.  Is it? Read my mind…

I have worked in a number of recruitment businesses, ranging from “get on the phone” cultures, those that spray and pray, to “I don’t need to lead gen” businesses who have account management nailed.

Before social media came along sales people could only rely on rusty websites and dusty marketing pamphlets to research their clients prior to calling them.

I use social media (and show my clients how) to research real, potential and ideal clients (and candidates if they are a recruiter). Where else am I going to know how my clients feel, what their business is doing, whether they are recruiting / expanding / contracting? I know that I will get this from them in a meeting, but I need to secure that meeting and I want to have as much info as I can to have a successful call. Equally I want the meeting to go well and need to be uber-prepared

My sales ethic has always been to understand the client and give them what they need – I may have a product for sale, but it will only work for them if I “get” their approach and understand what their problem / issue is. But how do I have a hope in hell of getting through the door and finding out what I need to know without first doing my research?

So, when someone mentions that they see social media as admin, I get on my high horse (I am 5’2″ so it’s really a pony) and debate what constitutes a sales process. Understanding my client is critical to me being a good supplier; I don’t need an administrator to do this bit of my job, and if they did would they be qualified to spot an opportunity?

If your client / contact base is on social media, you should be too, and not just for broadcasting how great you are and what you sell.  If all you use it for is to broadcast, then it will feel like admin.  If you use it to research, support and communicate, that’s sales…

Use social media to do your business some real good; “get” what your client does, how they feel and think and you are not a million miles away from actually selling something to them.  That’s not admin – it’s a critical part of business process!

Stepping down from my pony now… Thoughts?

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