A good sales person is someone who is prospecting 75% of the time and working to constantly fill that pipeline funnel with new opportunities. Sales people know where they need to prospect to find their target market and then they start their sales process with making cold calls, networking and building relationships.

Because business is social people are using Twitter to talk about your company or the products or services your company offers.

[tweet_quote]These people are your potential prospects and Twitter is their tool.[/tweet_quote] So if they are tweeting on topics related to your business wouldn’t you want to be in those conversations? You certainly do and here are four ways to use Twitter’s search feature to find new prospects for your sales funnel.

  1. Include “?”: Twitter is an area where people ask questions looking for answers. For example, “What is your favorite coffee?”, “Does anyone know how to fix a hard drive?”. When you search on a certain keyword include a “?” at the end. For example coffee ? would pull up everyone who has tweeted coffee related questions. Maybe you are Dunkin’ Donuts who comes across this tweet and you could reply to them with a RT (retweet) or a reply along with a link to download the Dunkin’ Donuts iPhone app. But doing a search that general could produce too many results to swift through. So it is better to narrow the search a bit. For example, if you are an IT Help Desk Company you might search on Computer Hard drive problems ? which would produce narrowed search results.
  2. Include “-http”: Many tweets are promoting their websites with links. So an IT Help Desk Company might send out a tweet of How to fix a broken hard drive? . Although the tweet has a question it’s not the type of tweet you want because it’s a competitor promoting their website instead of a true qualified prospect. When you want to view tweets without website links include “-http” at the end of your search – For example, broken hard drive -http
  3. Include “near:”city””: Twitter has tweets from all over the world. So even if someone in Toronto has a hard drive question you can’t help them because you only work with local companies. When you want to find prospects in your area include near:”city name” after the tweet. For example, hard drive problems near:”Indianapolis”.
  4. Include “within:##mi”: Being a local company doesn’t mean you only serve one city. It generally means you serve a general part of the state or the region. Therefore, you can include within:##mi at the end of the tweet. For example, hard drive problems near:”Indianapolis” within:50mi. Now, you not only receive tweets from Indianapolis but from surrounding areas up to 50 miles.

Mix up any of these search queries such as: hard drive ? -http near:”Indianapolis” within:65mi. You will end up with a query that might find you your next paying client. Several years ago my Dad gave me very fruitful sales advice – “Go where the people are” which essentially means that if you want to sell you need to be around people. Since people are on Twitter and these people are your prospects then you want be there too.