Quora has roughly 200 million monthly users worldwide -- almost double the number of users they had during the same time last year. That’s a lot of people, and a lot of prospecting potential.
So what is Quora?
Quora is a Q&A platform where users post questions and source answers from other community members. Good answers get “upvotes” that give them more visibility and authority. Sound a lot like Reddit? There are some important differences that make Quora more attractive for professional outreach.
First, Reddit is used primarily to share news and entertainment, while Quora is used for knowledge sharing around career growth, job questions, and life advice.
Second, Reddit lets users be anonymous, which encourages some of the NSFW subreddits (a.k.a. forums) it’s infamous for. In contrast, most Quora users link their profiles with their Google, Facebook, and/or Twitter accounts. This creates a level of accountability for its users and contributes to Quora’s reputation as a source for business networking.
So, how do you use Quora for sales prospecting? Here are eight steps to get started.
Get Started Sales Prospecting on Quora
1) Create an Account
Start by creating an account. Quora will ask you to sign in using either Facebook, Google, or an email address. I recommend signing up with your company email so you receive prospecting-related notifications in your work inbox. After you’ve chosen your preferred method of sign in, click “continue.”
2) Follow Relevant Interest Channels
Next, you’ll be prompted to “follow” at least 10 interests. Choose those related to your ideal customer, industry, and professional expertise. If you’re a sales rep for HubSpot, you might choose interests like SaaS, Sales, Web Marketing, and Business.
Once you’ve followed several interests, add the interest homepage URLs to your RSS feed or Feedly account to be notified anytime a user posts a question you can answer.
3) Add Your Areas of Expertise
Quora will also ask you to list your areas of expertise. This allows them to instantly populate a feed with questions they think you can answer. It’s an immediate funnel full of prospects, so choose your interests honestly and carefully.
4) Follow Other Users
Curious to know how your competition is responding to questions? Want to see what buyers are asking? During this step, follow other salespeople in your space and buyers you’re currently working with. This makes it easy to view the questions they’re asking about your industry and beyond.
5) Flesh Out Your Profile
Build out your profile with a professional photo and some details about yourself. Be open and authentic about who you are and what you do. Once your profile is finished, you can respond to questions.
6) Respond to Relevant Questions
Your “Read” page is filled with questions related to your interests. Start by scrolling through this thread. Answer questions and upvote helpful comments to build rapport and authority in the community.
You can also head to the “Answer” tab of your homepage, which Quora populates with user questions that your expertise should allow you to answer.
Here are a few best practices for answering questions on Quora:
- Provide value first. Let’s say you’re answering a question about which brand of widget works best for solving Y problem. Start by validating the question (“Hey Jane, this is a great question”) and providing some non-widget related solutions to their problem. Be open about your affiliation with Widgets-R-Us (“Full disclosure: I work for Widgets-R-Us”), and never try to make a sale in your conversation-opening answer.
- Never be overtly salesy, spammy, or repetitive. If you have a canned response that you copy and paste into any relevant question you come upon, you’re going to get called out and downvoted into oblivion. Make each response unique, targeted, and relevant, and you’ll build trust and recognition on Quora.
- Share links sparingly. Don’t be the person who links to content, or your company’s pricing page, with every answer. Offer advice first. If the conversation continues, you can put forth a link to your company or relevant content. But only if the Quora user has expressed interest.
7) Ask Your Prospects Question
Want to start a conversation around a topic that’s not currently active or didn’t exist in the first place? Pose a question you know your prospects are knowledgeable about and let them answer to open a conversation.
And don’t forget to upvote great responses. The more active and engaged you are in the Quora community, the more visible and reputable your advice will be.
8) Reach Out Using Quora Messaging
If a conversation is going particularly well and you want to connect with the person privately, you may be able to use Quora Messaging.
Quora’s default message setting is that users only receive messages from people they follow. Messaging settings are customizable, however, so some users may turn messaging off completely, while others allow messages from anyone.
If you visit someone’s profile and do not see the message button (featured in the drop-down menu below), you may want to reach out to them on another platform like LinkedIn or email.
Quora can be a great way to build rapport with prospects. Be smart and respectful with the platform, and you’ll attract prospects who actually seek you out for solutions they know you can provide.