The buyer buys differently now, sales has always been social but now it integrates with social media. Social selling is not just another fad or the latest buzz word. Social media has been impacting businesses for 8-10 years, and while social selling is not a new concept (Barb & other industry experts have been training people on social selling for the last 5 to 6 years) it’s taken a while for many organisations to take up the approach. However in the last 18 months people have begun to understand its value.
72.6% of salespeople using social media for selling achieved quota more often than their peers!
Don’t forget social media marketing and social selling are not the same. You (or your marketing team) may well spend money building and promoting your brand through Facebook ads (social media marketing), but that’s not necessarily where you’re going to find the MD of the company you’re targeting, for that you’d be better connecting with them on LinkedIn (social selling).
Dos and Don't s of Social Selling:
1) Do give, help other people (without expecting anything in return)
2) Do provide educational content that is relevant to prospects and customers
3) Do follow a daily and consistent process
(Consistently Give Relevant Content - be an influencer, an educator and provide helpful content)
1) Don’t broadcast and sell
2) Don’t try to engage too soon (i.e. just connected with someone on LinkedIn, don’t follow up with an email sales pitch)
What are the downsides of social selling and social media? For me the downside is the sheer volume of information. It’s vital we know how to filter through all the noise to get to what we really need. Clients expect us to do our homework before we talk to them, to “walk in their social footprint” but how do we do this effectively?
Barb’s top tip – Pick just one tool to start with!
We’re told we need to have a presence on every social network but that’s not always the case. If you've done your plan and have an idea of where the people you want to talk to are, start with that tool and see how it goes.
Nimble, a social CRM system, allows you to see an aggregated overview of a contacts social media. Just type in their name (or Nimble them) and it will go and find them on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ etc. You see what they’re doing across all platforms, giving you a great idea of what they’re up to. You also see the way they like to communicate, and therefore, like to be communicated with. Lots of activity and conversations on Twitter then it’s probably a good way to connect with them.
How do I start Social Selling effectively?
1 – The very first step is to PLAN:
a) Who are you targeting?
b) What platforms are they using (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc)?
c) What education do you need to get in order to use this technology effectively?
d) What are you going to measure and track?
Without a plan you could end up spending all your time and energy on the wrong social media platform. For example many of us know that Facebook isn't great for B2B, but did you know Pinterest is around 90% women and works best for businesses associated with weddings, retail, food and hospitality? Not your target audience? Then you don’t need to be on Pinterest.
2 – Learn
a) Sign up to the platform most used by your targets (based on what you learnt in step 1).
b) Set up (or clean up) your profile and start following the right people. For example of LinkedIn look at groups your targets belong to and sign up to the same groups. Also follow the companies you’re prospecting.
Tip – use the same head shot across all platforms, this creates a personal brand and makes it easier for people to identity you.
3 – Execute consistently and on a daily basis.
Nurturing doesn't have to be a long process, it’s not measured in time but in the number of interactions!
What do you think?