A mate recently picked up an great new account, on he had been trying to “crack” for a long time, through a piece of good luck, or good management depending on your perspective. All his product and market knowledge, sales skills and persistence had failed to get him past the gate-keeper and his allies.
He noticed on a social media feed that the autocratic old gate-keeper who had the “repel all boarders” attitude was retiring. A little digging led him to the likely replacement, someone who associated with a groomsman at his brothers wedding.
A few phone calls, and an introduction and he was in a position to discuss delivering a solution to the long wanted customer, and it went from there.
All this from a sales person monitoring and leveraging the power of social media, looking for an opportunity to engage, that in this case emerged from a disruption of the status quo amongst his target companies.
He has consistently said over the past few years that this approach “beats the hell out of cold calling” which was the manner in which the job was structured, and how he was expected to operate.
Seems to me that the old adage of” its not what you know but who you know that counts” has been expanded substantially by social media to “its not what you know, but who you know who knows you both” that counts.
The sales function has been radically socialised by the new tools of the web.