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Comments Off on How To “Listen In” To Online Conversations For Potential Leads And ResearchJanuary 12, 2012

As a sales professional or business owner it’s important that you can “listen in” to conversations that are happening online about the problems and pain that your products and services will solve for your buyers, and from there you can enter the conversation and make the relevant recommendations to these prospects.

By “listening in” to mentions of the actual products and services that you sell you can gather a list of potential leads, who are already discussing their interest in your products and services. The same applies to “listening in” to mentions of your company name or your name – if people are talking about you or your company, you want to know about it. This not only helps you make direct contact with future prospects, but it also helps you manage and maintain your reputation online.

There are lots of great tools available for doing a quick check online. Master the basics before attempting to work with services that provide much fancier options. In many cases, the advanced options won’t seem so fancy if you have a real feel for how to do your own searches.  In other cases, you may appreciate a time-saving option that automates a series of well-defined searches.

Another vital way you can “listen in” on the internet and via social media is to “listen in” to mentions of your competitors, as well as mentions of happenings in your industry – meaning that you will always be in the know when it comes to your market. It’s important to continually progress and develop as a business in order to survive – you need to move with the times, and ensure that you stay one step ahead of the competition at all times, and “listening in” online can help you do this. 

Let’s have a look and see how you can achieve this using Twitter as your spy resource! Of course it will depend upon what you’re selling as to whether any conversations around this happen on Twitter but if Twitter is a viable resource then here are some useful tools you can use to “listen in” online.


InboxQ is a great piece of software for listening in to leads on Twitter, as it’s a free browser plugin which searches for questions on Twitter by specific keywords. The great thing about InboxQ is that you can have it running on your desktop throughout the day whilst you’re working, meaning that you can answer any relevant conversations about yourself, your company or the products and services you provide whenever you see one come through.

So for example, below is a screen shot of a result that came up when we were searching for the term “motherboard” on Twitter. Our client was a computer supplier so we were listening online to all of the various products that they sold and within 25 minutes this result popped up!


Hootsuite is an all-in-one platform for managing your social media activity, and is particularly great for scheduling tweets, tracking brand mentions and analysing your social media traffic on Twitter. You can sign up to the basic package for free, and this will allow you add in 5 social profiles and 2 automated RSS feeds from your sites.


You can also conduct searches through the Twitter platform itself. Though you may not think of Twitter as a search engine, the number of searches made through Twitter has exceeded the number of searches through Yahoo and Bing combined. The great thing about searching Twitter directly is that what you’re seeing is the result of discussions happening in real time – which really is an invaluable aspect of using social media for lead generation purposes.

These are just a few of the great free resources available to help you listen in on Twitter and are well worth exploring as a sales professional and business owner when it comes to prospecting and generating viable leads for your business.


Sean McPheat
CEO (Chief eselling® Officer)

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Comments Off on How To “Listen In” To Online Conversations For Potential Leads And ResearchComments Off on How To “Listen In” To Online Conversations For Potential Leads And Research