If you are in sales, you’ve received your share of the dreaded auto-generated “Out of Office” assistant email. You say to yourself, “I was hoping to get this deal closed soon, and this is going to delay things until she gets back!” These emails typically resemble the following format:

“Thank you for your email. I am out of the office this week, returning on May 23. For immediate inquiries, please contact Betty Smith atbsmith@acme.com or John Rogers at jrogers@acme.com. Thanks and I look forward to speaking with you when I return.”

I wonder if Betty and John know that their direct report mentioned their names in the “Out of Office” assistant message?

Here lies a golden opportunity to uncover more detail on your prospect and his/her team. What do you do next? A savvy social seller will take the following path:

  1. Immediately look these people up on LinkedIn and Twitter and follow them. Do not immediately send them a LinkedIn connection request. It is too soon for that – wait until you have earned the right to connect.
  2. Evaluate their LinkedIn profiles to understand their role and how they might be able to help you.
  3. Consider liking a tweet and maybe commenting on a LinkedIn post, if they have been recently active. Make it genuine and you will then be on their radar.
  4. Maybe they follow you back. If they follow you back on Twitter that provides yet another #SocialSellingHack opportunity: You can now send them a direct message on Twitter using some of the details you found on their LinkedIn profile to build a connection.

These people are often either directly above or parallel in authority to your contact. When we consider that the average enterprise purchase has 5.4 buyers, there is a high likelihood that you may have just uncovered two of the five with this little note in your inbox. Don’t let the opportunity pass you by to capture this information that might give you an edge in your eventual deal!

How can you take advantage of this right now? Go into your inbox and search for the terms “Automatic reply” or “Out of Office” right now. Why wait? I bet you will find a golden opportunity hiding in there.

Interested in expanding social selling efforts and increasing sales throughout your organization? Schedule a free, live demo of PeopleLinx. 

This post was originally featured on LinkedIn Pulse. Read it here