Category Archives: social media

Get targeted twitter followers


So, Dan, what on earth has this got to do with sales and marketing you may be asking yourselves.   Have I become so disillusioned with the world of Telemarketing that I’ve decided to pledge my allegiance to Mr Bieber and his teen-entrancing pop?

The answer – you may be pleased to find out is No.   I do have extremely varied musical tastes but not that varied!

Let me explain – as well as running a telemarketing business and having a near obsessive interest in the sales process I also use social media to promote my business, gain knowledge & build relationships.  I’ve had a twitter account for a couple of years but, if I’m honest didn’t really begin to harness it’s power until around 3 months ago.

It all seemed very one sided – I’d post tweets and get no replies to them.  I’d reply to other peoples tweets and get no response back.  All of this was taking up valuable time that I could have better spent on some other form of marketing or social media.  So I neglected my account.    My tweets diminished to around once a month, my new followers to 2 or 3 every couple of weeks and, as a consequence I received a total of zero new enquiries as a result of twitter.

I then had a bit of a revelation – I’ve been involved in comedy for years and currently perform and write as part of a sketch group that – if you’re interested – will be performing at the Edinburgh festival this year (3-14th of August, 9pm at the Jekyll and Hyde) and was given the task of increasing our twitter followers to help promote the show.

Being as I was so lacking in faith about the potential of twitter I knew that the one thing I had to do to get the message out there was to increase our follower numbers so I got online and researched ways of legitimately increasing our followers.  In the end I settled on a site called tweepi which, I have to say has been exactly what I was looking for.

Without wanting to seem like I’m promoting the site too overtly (other twitter tools are available), what I found particularly great about it was the ability to follow followers and analyse their statistics to maximise the chances of being followed back.  Most notable were the last tweet dates and the percentage of followers to how many they were following.  Tweet dates being a good indicator of activity and therefore likelihood of following you back, percentages being an indicator again of how likely they are to follow you back.

Ideally you’re looking for a 100% follow ratio – this shows that the person is very likely to follow back anyone that follows them

Most importantly though I was following people who followed people in the same business as me so, rather than just following other comedians I followed the followers of those comedians – the logic being that if they’re following Michael Mcintyre , they’re interested in comedians so could well be interested in us.

This can obviously be applied to the business world – if you run a cleaning company, follow the followers of other cleaning companies, follow the followers of Facilities Management companies, follow the followers of letting agent associations etc etc

Which takes me back to my initial point.  There are tons of companies offering the ability to buy twitter followers – in an instant you can pay £30 and immediately look more impressive but, unless those followers have an interest in your product/service, what is the point?

Whilst there may well be some Bieber fans that have a need for Telemarketing services my gut feeling is that they’re probably not my ideal target market.   Make sure you’re engaging with companies and individuals that want to hear what you’ve got to say.   After all, you can’t sell to Justin Bieber fans – unless you’re selling Justin Bieber merchandise


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Iron Man – Business Lessons from Tony Stark



I took my son to see Iron Man 3 yesterday, had to go along on the first day of release, being the geek that I am and, to be honest I think I was looking forward to it more than my son was.

In essence, it was all I expected it to be; lots of explosions, lots of gadgets and technology and a ton of witty quips as well as brilliant performances from the cast – in particular Sir Ben Kingsley who was, surprisingly, hilarious.

Most importantly though, I have always had a tremendous amount of admiration for Robert Downey Juniors character, Iron Man himself, Tony Stark.

For those of you not in the know, Tony Stark is the Billionaire owner of Stark Industries – a huge company with some rather suspect interests in developing technology for warfare – essentially he’s a very rich arms dealer.  In some ways he’s a combination of Batman and James Bond with all of the best elements of both turned up to 11.   Despite finding himself in frequent danger, he always finds time for a humourous remark and never stops having fun, whether he’s zooming around the skies in his metal suit or being locked up and tortured in a cave in Afghanistan.

Without spoiling the plot too much, right at the end of the movie, when he’s lost his house, given ownership of his business to his girlfriend and has blown up all of his million dollar Iron man suits to save his relationship he is left with nothing but a trailer on the back of his expensive sports car which contains various fragments of what was formerly his workshop.

You know that, regardless of how little he is left with, how terrible his current plight may seem that, deep down, the passion he has for creativity and the faith he has in his own abilities to deliver the goods, he’ll be back on top in no time.

For me, that’s the big lesson to learn from Iron Man – however bad things get, however little you’re left with, as long as you’ve got belief in yourself you’ll be back on the road to success before you know it

So ask yourself the question “What would Tony Stark do?”



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Don’t accept a no from someone not authorised to give a yes



If you’re selling over the phone, be it for your business or on behalf of a client it’s essential that you get to talk to the right person.  Receptionists aren’t always willing to give out details of staff members; they’re usually bombarded with calls from salespeople flogging this, that and the other but if you’ve got the name of the person you need to talk to and you ask for them with an air of professionalism and purpose you’re far more likely to get put through.

So, how do you get their name?  If you’ve been lucky enough to obtain quality data you may well have their name already and there’s probably not much point in reading any further – on this occasion.

But, without that – utilise our old friend Google (other search engines are available!)

Type in the company name, copy their domain name in the search results, paste that back into google and add the job title of the person you’re looking for.  If it’s listed on their website, google will pick it up and will – if they’re social media savvy – list their name on Linkedin and possibly twitter and various less used websites – pinterest and all that google + business

You can also try going onto linkedin and use their advanced search tool.  You can narrow it down by company, name, location, sector, company size and a variety of other options of varying levels of usefulness.   Depending on your subscription to Linkedin the search results will bring up different levels of information – most notably with the free and cheaper versions of it, just their First name and initial of surname

Quick Linkedin tip to get round this – click on their name then go to the right lower side of the page where’s there’s a “people that viewed this profile also viewed….” section and click on the top person on that list.  When you get to their profile, click on the “people that viewed this profile, blah blah blah” section on their page and you often see the full name of the person you were originally looking for.   If not, repeat the exercise with one of the other contacts on there – I’d suggest a maximum of 3 other contacts.  If you don’t find their full name that way, have a look at their recommendations on their profile page, click through those.  Often you’ll find their full name listed on other peoples reciprocal recommendations.

Finally – have a look at the groups they’re a member of – if they’ve added to discussions, their full name will be on there.

I’d also highly recommend Jigsaw.Com – essentially it’s an editable directory of contacts, built up by salespeople.  You receive points for adding contacts that you’ve sourced yourself and can spend those points on buying contacts that you need.   There’s also an option to purchase credits which you can buy data with although personally I like the community spirit of everyone contributing.   You can also receive points for updating contacts so if, for example you call a company and find the person has left or changed roles, pop that in jigsaw and they’ll reward you with a shiny new decision maker.

As a Telemarketer I have to utilise every tool I have at my disposal and whilst there’s a tremendous amount that can be done over the phone on it’s own, it’s essential I increase my chances of success by using google and social media to get the information I need to succeed!

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