Reasons to Tweet

At its heart, Twitter is like attending a cocktail party – albeit one on the global scale with a seemingly endless capacity for attendees. However, most people who haven’t engaged with the medium are at a loss for why Twitter matters. I can’t tell you how many contacts – ranging from hip 20-somethings to Baby Boomers and beyond – have remarked “I don’t ‘get’ Twitter.” If you find yourself trying to explain the benefits of Twitter to Twitterphobes, you may want to explain the reasons why tweeting is worthwhile. Here are a few talking points for starters: 

  • Direct communication – Back in the day, individuals did business with other individuals. They shopped in the town where they lived, and they personally knew the shopkeepers. As business has become global, we’ve gotten away from that personal touch. Twitter, however, opens the door for businesses and consumers to interact directly again. One survey showed that customers choose Twitter as the medium for interacting with customers specifically because they receive answers and are treated like individuals.
  • Personality – Twitter presents a great opportunity for creating awareness about your brand, product, or service. The less formal nature of Twitter lends itself to showing off a company’s personality through trivia and factoids, contests, and other messages that bring a face and personality to the brand.
  • Cross-promotion – Through Twitter, you can link to any online item, from industry news and company-specific news to YouTube videos and product reviews. It’s a wonderful way to gather a myriad of information into one place and share it with your self-selected audience.
  • Gathering information – Not only is Twitter an effective means of communicating to your audience and telling your story – it’s also a great way to gather information through a variety of sources. You can build lists that group people you’re following into one feed based on your labeling. You can also search all of Twitter via search.twitter.com to find out what people are saying about your company or competitors. Hashtags are a quick and easy way to see what people are saying about a specific topic or trend.

 
Of course, the most important takeaway to leave with Twitter newbies is to not get sidetracked by the medium. Yes, Twitter is a hip social media tool, but it’s merely that – a tool. Tools are merely instruments that are specialized to aid in the accomplishment of a task or goal, and in this case, that task is communicating effectively. By making the message the focus – not the method – you’ll be able to jump into the Twitter fray in a meaningful way.

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Teaching the Traits for Top Sales Performance

Are great salespeople born? Or can anyone learn the tricks of the trade that make for sales success? While certain personality traits and natural abilities translate well for those in a sales-oriented career, much of what creates a successful sales professional can be learned with proper training in three areas: attitude, ability, and action. Â

  • Attitudes develop bit by bit over years. Those who believe they can and will achieve great things tend to succeed in whatever they pursue, as long as they’re willing to couple that ambition with hard work. Switching over to a positive attitude requires effort if you tend to focus on the glass being half-empty, but in time, a can-do outlook will become second nature. Positivity isn’t the only helpful attitude for sales. Other attitudes to cultivate include modesty, reliability, goal-orientation, curiosity, healthy competitiveness, and a lack of self-consciousness.
  • Abilities, or skills, can be acquired, thanks to teaching, coaching, and repetition. According to Steve W. Martin of Harvard Business Review, there are four skills beyond the typical list – hard work, tenacity, integrity, empathy, etc. – that really make a difference for self-made salespeople: language specialization, modeling of experiences, political acumen, and greed. Language specialization requires becoming a maven in your sales field, going beyond the standard recital of a product’s benefits and features to discuss domain-area expertise – and in the field’s jargon, to boot. “Modeling” refers to linking similar data and experiences into predictable patterns that influence future behavior. Developing a methodology of analyzing sales calls and sales cycles helps you to learn from each interaction, successful or not, to breed future success. Using acumen to understand human behavior and actions based upon self-interests helps the salesperson to accurately map out a decision maker’s influences and motivations. Finally, greed in this sense isn’t miserly or corrupt – rather, it’s a desire to be paid fairly for the time and effort invested in the sales process, pushing beyond the comfort zone to close a sale. 
  • Actions are the measurable steps you take to execute a sales strategy. These require planning as well as follow through and reporting. While the proper actions might seem intuitive to some, they can be learned by reading and studying from the plethora of sales advice available online and in print. Some actions to incorporate into your business cycle include setting sales goals in writing, tracking progress, reconnecting with customers every 30 to 60 days, and preparing scripts to overcome potential objections. Don’t overlook the importance of continued education and professional development. Dedicate a set amount of time to researching your customer’s industry, attending sales training courses, or meeting with a corporate coach to improve your value as a sales professional.

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Keep in mind that someone could have all three areas understood, and if they don’t have an environment that’s conducive to what they’re selling, then they’ll still find an uphill battle. Those circumstances are rare, however. Once you learn the proper attitudes, abilities, and actions, you’ll be on your way to sales success.Â

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