What is it? Slack is a tool that was developed and launched in 2013 and as a company has already grown to over $1 Billion valuation. It was developed as a cloud-based team collaboration tool that has literally replaced internal emailing for several of my clients. It’s like your own mobile friendly, highly intuitive social networking tool for your company.
Here’s where it gets interesting. You can also create public Slack channels that are interest based. Hubspot (the creators of Sidekick) for instance created a public inbound marketing channel that thousands of marketers who use or could use their software collaborate, share best practices and build relationships. I am a member of another public slack channel for startup founders and participate in many of their discussions on business growth, recruitment and growth hacking. Through these conversations, you can migrate these contacts into your sales funnel.
How do you use it to hack your sales?
One important thing to note is most slack channels are very anti-sales and pitch. Avoid selling in the channel, instead, look for opportunities to give advice, share links to resources or good content you have created and build rapport and trust through conversations. Once you have built some rapport with key people you can individually private message them and suggest a LinkedIn connection, offer a demo or even just suggest a quick Google Hangout to chat with them about their business. All of these soft steps in communication on slack often more effectively lead to business than a hard pitch approach.
The culture and sheer volume of dialogue reminds me of the early days of Twitter. My suggestion is to join a few slack channels, learn how they work and grow your network. The next step, in my opinion, is to find a niche topic that you and/or your team is a thought leader in and start your own public channel as a way to build your community and prospect base. This is a new tool and rapidly evolving and it’s something that is new for me as well, BUT it has a ton of potential.
My Facebook friend and founder Matt Schlicht of ZapChain just launched a new project called Hamster Pad.
It’s a directory of 400 slack chats in 25 categories including: Marketing, Startups, Health & Fitness, Mobile Developer, Product, Design, Finance, Sports, Video Games, Slack, Music, Blockchain, Travel, Social, Politics, Virtual Reality, Podcasts, Content Creators, Security, Photography, Investors, Schools, Events, Business. It’s just in it’s infancy but looks like a great directory.
Another good resource is SlackList.info, a handpicked list of top Slack communities.
This sales hack is an excerpt from Shane Gibson's new ebook "12 Apps and Hacks for Sales and Social Selling". Download his ebook, audio book and slides here.