At my company, we just recently upgraded to Microsoft Office 365® and, so far, I couldn’t be happier with the transition. The new products seem to be improving my team’s productivity and efficiency, and I expect that to only increase as we become more familiar with them.
But you don’t really care about that, do you?
Here’s something you might be interested in: Microsoft Outlook’s new Social Connector feature, which allows users to link the application to their social networks to see profiles and updates, and add new connections without ever leaving their email inbox. By simply clicking on a contact’s name, you can see a history of emails or attachments that person has sent you, meetings you’ve attended together, and activity in their social networks.
Why Social Connector is Important in Email Prospecting
We’ve all heard the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, that axiom certainly applies when you gain the ability to connect email prospecting to social media activity.
With Social Connector, I can now see the picture of anyone I’m connected with via LinkedIn or Facebook, and that makes my digital conversations seem more personal and real. In fact, as most experienced sales professionals know, face-to-face interactions — even when they happen virtually — almost always lead to higher quality conversations. People are generally more polite, professional, and forthcoming — all because there’s now a face associated with a previously anonymous name.
This is what makes Social Connector a true game-changer. In email prospecting, the ability to write more effective and relevant messages is invaluable because of its organic influence on open and response rates — two metrics that are critical to email prospecting success.
Making the Case for Marrying Email and Social
Ultimately, the case for using this Social Connector feature is rather simple and can be made via two key points:
- Seeing your contacts’ faces will change how you approach them — in a good way. If you sell primarily over the phone (like we do at KLA Group), then you rarely get to meet with prospects in-person. Sometimes, that can make it difficult to imagine who a prospect is and what they care about, which in turn can cause emails to come off as stiff, generic, and too direct. Having your contact’s photo pop up when you write an email will help you visualize the prospect and write more personable and interesting messages — messages that generate much faster responses.
- Being connected to as many prospects as possible can only help your cause. Social media is a key part of modern selling and you want to be connected to as many of your prospects as possible. If you’ve been cautious about whom you connect with, now is the time to throw caution to the wind and leverage the Social Connector feature to grow your network. Doing this increases the probability that your profile picture and social networking activity will show up in your prospects’ inboxes, and that can drastically improve open and response rates.
The most obvious benefit of this new strategy is that even if a prospect doesn’t remember connecting with you, seeing your photo and social network information in their inbox will likely jog their memory and potentially encourage them to explore your profile. In email prospecting, that level of engagement is critical because the moment you become more than just a faceless salesperson is also the moment your response rates begin to skyrocket.
To learn how to enable Microsoft Office’s Outlook Social Connector feature, check out this how-to guide from Intermedia. Share with me how email and social integration is helping you prospect more effectively in the comments section below. I’m anxious to hear more stories!