Let’s think back to how we did this before…
- You had some idea that there was activity in a particular country that would require your products or services.
- You did some due diligence, checked some databases, scrutinised the internet, called trusted contacts who were in the know and built a rough idea that there was something of interest.
- You put some numbers to it and weighed up the risk of investment against possible return.
- You present this to the board and were given the green light to take it to the next step.
- You made some calls, sent emails, and set about trying to set up some meetings.
- You agreed to meet a recommended agent in country and booked your flights and hotel room for busy a week country.
You arrive in country travel around the different buildings meeting with people and soaking up information for our plan, we try not to be too annoyed with the last-minute cancellations, it’s part of the game…
You get home, dump all our finding into a report and start to build a business case. We present out latest finding to the board and are given another green light to proceed to the next level.
You need deeper level information, so you start to build contact plans and find email addresses and phone numbers of those in your target accounts…
You set up meeting and start to fly into country once per month for pitch meetings in conference rooms with prospects.
If all worked out well, you got the chance to join bid lists or prepare proposals…
This is one version of how we might have gone about cracking a new territory, of course there are others.
Today we know that cold calling and email do not have the success rate they once did – people don’t like being interrupted.
- We cannot travel as freely as we did, and meeting with people is on hold.
- We still need to break into new territory, but how do we do this in a Covid affected 2021?
- We use our Social Selling & Influence skills to develop new territory strategy and plans.
Let’s walk through a quick plan…
So, your team are trained on Social Selling & Influence, we have optimised profiles and understand how to grow our networks and engage in conversation.
We have identified that there is a need for our products and services in a new geographic territory.
we have identified target accounts...
Connect and grow a network in Country.
We design a Social Media connection plan that covers buyers, influencers and people who can amplify our messages within those target accounts and territories.
A common mistake is that people only connect with people they know that are buyers – we need to think strategically here and bring in those influencers and people who can amplify our message into our network.
These influencers and amplifiers may well be out with the account but, are related and useful for us such as, local government, regulators or industry representatives.
We use the search and filter feature on LinkedIn to filter locations, companies, and disciplines.
As a team, we are connecting across many different levels in the target accounts and within a few weeks we will have good cross account coverage. In many cases you will already have conversations ongoing just from the connection process.
Groups and Hashtags
Seek out the right groups to follow. When you look at key target’s profiles in country, look at what groups they belong to and join them. Now, all the activity this group sees will come into your news feed. You can also post content into this group to increase your visibility.
You can see the members of the group and connect with those of interest.
Hashtags are important. Find the Hashtags that are relevant to your target country, industry, sector, and companies - follow them and start to use the tags. Now, all of your content that you tag will be delivered directly to relevant in country, industry, sector and company targets.
You will start to see interaction and network growth, very quickly you will be having conversations you would never have had by any other means.
Once you have a established a decent level of connections in those target account in your new geography, start to produce content specifically for them.
We don’t sell to our networks – We don’t advertise to our network – We build influence with our networks!
- Write blogs about how you have taken your business in to other countries and how well it went.
- Create posts about how you’ve worked there before on that big project.
- Make interesting video that is related to what you do and how you rise to challenges – not just showing your stuff and saying, “contact me for information”.
Hashtag all of this with the tags you know your audience in country are following.
There are ways and means to super charge this process within teams, one method is with Sales Navigator which gives advanced leads and company search capability, enhanced lead recommendations and CRM integration.
This allows you to find the right people faster, keep track of lead and company changes easier and, enhance reach and engagement with prospects.
This is a super basic, 2-minute, ‘water cooler’ chat on how you can use Social Media to break into new geographic territories, it’s a conversation starter.
If we were doing this with a management team on real life scenarios, we would go much deeper and develop a more rigorous strategy, but this gives you an idea of what you can do.
While your competition is sitting around, waiting for travel to come back and meetings to start again, get your team empowered, engaged, and tapping into new territories through Social Media, others are already doing this.
Live Social ‘21
Crux / DLA Ignite
Social Selling is not spamming on Social...