7 Social Selling Tips
In this post, we want to share 7 social selling tips that can be used as part of a digital selling or social selling campaign. Used in a proper manner these 7 social selling tips can help salespeople to engage with more prospects or customers than ever before and help uncover sales opportunities better than the more traditional approaches.
Today’s buyers are far more empowered with information and insights to help them assess purchasing decisions. So rather than a salesperson who just provides details they can freely access online, they look for trusted advisers who can help them achieve their goals. The days of smile and dial for a quick sale are long passed.
So here is our list of our 7 Social Selling Tips.
Cold pitches are not social selling.
Social selling is not about employing the social channels to replace cold calling or replacing the telephone with Twitter and LinkedIn. Simplistic bare faced cold sales pitches do not work (they have rarely worked via the phone, so social media is no different).
Remember, the most important activity in social selling is to bring VALUE. One of the biggest of the seven social selling tips we can share is to always provide VALUE to your potential customers and social network. So, you will need to find relevant information, content and conversations that people will value and allows you to build relationships with others.
Providing value on the social networks can be pinned to a series of tactics (sharing articles, quality content and informative research and engaging in conversations etc). In time, people come to acknowledge the sharer, which gives sales people a deeper understanding of the buyer’s profile. To build value you need to consistently offer really relevant information and insights, market trends, latest research or whitepapers.
Always keep in mind that the social networks allow us to interact with other human beings in meaningful ways online. Social Selling is an evolutionary step forward making the sales process more productive and meaningful. It is not about using social media to shout at, stalk, or spam people digitally.
Build your personal brand.
Credibility and your level of value are critical aspects of social selling. We know that social media can boost the level of influence a salesperson or a business has within a market, and can even impact buyer decisions. Building your personal brand online is important because within the social networks “your reputation can determine your level of influence”.
Building your personal brand online will allow you to nurture relationships, to stay top-of-mind with the purpose of creating “sales time” with buyers at the right time. It is about positioning yourself to have influence and high levels of perceived value with prospects or potential customers. Remember, it’s not just about building up our own personal brand but also to support the company’s brand online.
Pick your Profiles
Who do you sell to? Who do you want to influence? Who do you want to connect to? These are important questions not just in social selling but in any sales activity. So, you need to create or select one or more “ideal customer profiles” to target with your activity. Your profiles will prioritise the individuals and companies that you know will get the most value out of your product, and will also provide the most value back to you.
By picking which profiles to engage with, it helps you find qualified prospects and protects you from selling to the wrong customers.
In social selling, your profile will give you a clear target to aim for, resulting in highly qualified leads. As you refine and connect, if they don’t match the criteria you have set then you’ll know to move on.
Simply put, an ideal customer profile helps you identify and engage with the type of people that will most benefit your business.
Become a Content Champion
Content and conversations power social selling. In order to stand out from the 2 million blog posts published online every day, you will need to cut through the clutter.
Did you know that the top 3 content tactics are blog articles (65%); social media sharing (64%); and publishing case studies (64%).
How can I cut through the noise with my social selling? I hear you ask.
Well research shows you need to have “likeability” in your content, that is how much a post or piece of content is “likeable”? In both the B2B and B2C (but especially content shared by sales people in B2B sales), the content being shared needs to have social reach, be liked and deemed to have value by people. The likeability of any content can be affected by crafting assets using the best practices for each individual social network (media, language, tone, topic, length, etc) matched to a buyer persona or ideal customer profile. Right Profile – Right Content – Right Context and Right Timing!
When it comes to learning more about these 7 social selling tips, salespeople are publishing to be seen, to create awareness and get expression of consideration to get buyers into the sales process. With the amount of content listed above, the challenge is how to stand out and turn social content into quality sales leads?
A formula for Content Likeability could be
Targeted Content + Situational Context + Buyer Stage + Timing
Be a Conversation Channel
Position yourself to become a conversation channel. Gradually becoming a valuable connection, one worth listening to and engaging with. Once the quality of your conversation contributions have established yourself as a valuable connection, you can nurture and build a buyer/supplier relationship far more quickly.
Why not have a plan that on a daily basis you will review discussions on your groups in LinkedIn and give honest answers to questions people have without plugging your business. Also, conversations are not there to tell people how wonderful you are or how you can help solve their problems if they meet you. Spend time looking for articles, news and research you can use in conversations with people without interrupting them and that is on the money. This will help you throughout your sales career no matter what product or service you are selling.
Social selling should drive two-way conversations with your audience via social media. You need to engage them not just as your buyers, but as people and really help them achieve their goals whether it be answering a question or finding information for them.
Avoid Connection Collecting
Look up Dunbar’s Number and see how it is relevant in social selling. Ask yourself, “Is there real value in connecting with 5,000 people”. Connections should be a bridge to lead you somewhere. You need to think more about the quality and relevance of your social network.” Building an engaged following takes time and effort, you need to sow, nurture before you can harvest. To make valuable and relevant connections, you must make sure you’re giving them distinct value that others are not.
Have a Social Selling Strategy
The last of our 7 social selling tips is to have a strategy. A social selling strategy which acknowledges that the modern buyer needs education but they educate themselves. A strategy that helps guide people, one where audiences can expect meaningful insights from experts helping business not yours.
Modern sales strategy understands that the key to sustained success is to include social selling training and social media marketing alongside the more traditional sales tactics. Due to the increasing amount of information available to buyers online these days, the time is fast approaching when the amount of trust buyers has in you as a sales professional will be the primary thing to influence their buying decision. Due to the power of social media and self-education, fewer and fewer salespeople are going to have the ear of their buyers on a constant basis. A social selling strategy can be a powerful way to build a higher level of trust with customers and prospects. The blending of digital selling and social selling is no longer a foreign approach to any salesperson wishing to succeed in the digital era.
A bonus 7 seven social selling tips is that when we talk about the next generation of buyers coming through, the digital natives, then social selling is going to be a natural path on their buying journey. Make sure you have your social selling strategy ready.