25 Feb

Twitter as your Foot in the Door

How do you get 76% of your audience to say yes to your proposition?  First get them to say yes to a simple proposition aligned with their identity.  This at least is what a study conducted in the 1960’s seems to indicate.   Professors Freedman and Fraser from Stanford University got 76% of respondents to place a homemade billboard on their lawn.  How they did it was by approaching the respondents 2 weeks earlier and asking them to post a small 3 inch sticker on their window that said “Be a Safe Driver”.  When the researchers returned two weeks later and asked to place a “Be a Safe Driver” billboard on their lawn more respondents said yes when compared to the control group that was not first asked to place the small sticker. So how does this apply to Twitter?

Twitter is your “foot in the door”.  If you are trying to make a complex sale it is very easy for a prospect to say no to your sales pitch.  Imagine you call a prospect and ask them to buy your software, it’s easy to image that most people will answer “no thanks” even if they could benefit from what you have to offer.  Now imagine instead of asking to buy the software you simple call and ask if the prospect if they want to do better at what they do.  Who is going to say no to that?  With this small yes ask the prospect if they use any of the micro-blogging tools such as Twitter or LinkedIn.  If they answer yes to that you can now establish your foot in the door by adding them as a Twitter follower.

Here’s how my pitch might go: “Hello John, I know you are  a busy person and don’t have time for a sales presentation but I’m sure you want to make sure you are doing all you can to make your business a success.  I occasionally post helpful tips on Twitter/LinkedIn/Plaxo/Facebook.  Would you like to make sure you are receiving these tips that 100/200/300 other people in your role receive?”   This is not a fullproof script and it won’t get you a 100% success rate but I think you can agree that trying to get the small yes is easier than the big yes.

Once you have a prospect following you on Twitter, this could also work if you had a newsletter, you can take time to establish trust with the prospect.  With your foot in the door your next ask can be bigger.  You might be surprised by the results.