Twitter - the best prospecting tool on the planet?

Do you remember my post about Dave the salesman, and about how he focused on his core principles to be successful?

I've done some work with him recently, and with several other businesses, and we've been setting them up to use Twitter as a prospecting tool.

Dave had always used telephone books as his main source of prospecting, and it's worked for years for him. He basically works his way through a list of companies (he sells photocopiers) and contacts them to find out what type of machine they use now, how they get on with it, and who the decision maker is. It's a numbers game. Every now and then he gets lucky and finds someone who is on the point of looking for a new machine, but most of the time he's simply adding the information to his database, and then following up at regular intervals hoping to catch them at "the right time."

Twitter search has added a whole new dimension for him - he can now catch people at the point they need his help, simply by setting up a Twitter search! I just put the word "photocopier" into Twitter to give you an example, and here's what I got:


Instantly, and in the first seven tweets in the column, there's a job opportunity for Dave (!) a charity opportunity, and potentially three sales opportunities. In each case with the sales opportunities, he still needs to engage the people and be helpful, but he's likely to meet with some interest as they are obviously having problems with their existing copiers.

Here's an example for another client, who sells spear fishing equipment online:


Once again - instantly, we have a list of people who are potential clients for his gear. Qualified prospects!

However obscure, you can find stuff on Twitter relating to it. I asked my wife randomly to suggest a really obscure sport or hobby and she came up with potholing! Here's what a Twitter search gave me:


Once again, a list of people with some interest in the topic.

Pretty much whatever business someone is in, Twitter has to be the most powerful prospecting tool, and one that can out them in front of a potential client at exactly the right moment - the point of need.

Are you helping people with Twitter? Do you use Twitter search to connect with people interested in your topic?

These are worth reading as well:

1/ The never ending task list

2/ Windows Livewriter - the ultimate blog tool

3/ The traffic plateau and the one dimensional blog



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