The New Relationship Between Sales Reps and Leads

Joe Weinlick
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Fresh sales leads are a vital component to the success of any business. Leads often need to be cultivated over time, and it can be difficult to develop new relationships with potential clients through the traditional means of phone calls and email. Fortunately, technological advancements have allowed for the development of new methods of communicating with potential leads. These advancements help you cultivate relationships in new ways that benefit your business.

Instead of relying on a single communication method to cultivate sales leads, many sales reps are using a multichannel approach. It can be difficult to reach a sales lead via email or the phone, because of the glut of messages that the lead often receives through those channels. You need a communication tactic that makes you stand out. A multichannel approach focuses on lesser used channels, and capitalizes upon them in conjunction with one another.

Social media is a good example of this. Instead of relying on email by itself, sales reps are relying on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, text messages and other alternatives to break through the clutter and get the attention of potential sales leads. Using social media tools also allows you to research your sales leads more fully, so you can customize your sales pitch to meet their specific customer service needs. It is imperative to end each of these communications with a call for action, so the lead knows why he should contact you and how to do so.

You also need to be careful about what you post on social media sites yourself. A great relationship with a business client can be ruined by a single unprofessional post or tweet that gets seen by the wrong person. Sales reps need to remember that the same sites that provide them with information on their customers can also be used against them if they become careless.

The key to cultivating new relationships with sales leads through these channels is also to interact with them as much as possible in a warm and supportive way. Actively engage your potential customers in online conversations, even if the conversations have nothing to do with your business. It is called "social media" for a reason. Being friendly and social with clients makes it easier to do business with them, and to maintain long-term relationships.

That does not mean that all sales leads are now developed online. Trade shows and conferences are also great venues to develop relationships with sales leads face-to-face. Good customer service is dependent upon good interpersonal relationships, so never disregard live events that can potentially help you develop these relationships.

It is important to remember that leads are not just income sources or statistics. They are people, and they have the same hopes, fears, insecurities and intelligence that sales people do. Using a multichannel approach to develop new relationships with sales leads helps to personalize new customers in ways that had not previously been possible.


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