Social selling; it’s not asking about your client’s weekend or their kids. It’s about utilizing social media to increase sales. Do you know how it works and should your sales reps even care?
Sales has always been about doing business with people you know. Networking and leveraging relationships through meetings, conferences, organizations, etc., has been the traditional path to create connections. The advent of social media has changed this model. Gone are the days of sitting at your desk “working the phones.” With Sales 2.0 technology, customers can obtain company and product data long before they meet with you. Considering the majority of prospects never (or almost never) take a meeting from a cold call or e-mail, progressive salespeople need to know how to go from click to closed.
Whole books are written on the subject of selling via social media, but the basics are pretty straightforward. To begin social selling, you need to understand it. Social Selling leverages social media in order for you to identify with your customers and their influences. Traditional techniques are time consuming and limit the exposure a rep can achieve with their client base. Social selling enables salespeople to expand their reach exponentially simply by using technology that allows them to socialize on a grander scale.
Three Easy Steps to Social Selling for Salespeople
1. Find out where your customers “hang out” on-line.
Be present in places that are relevant to them, not you! Visit their cyber haunts (Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, You Tube, Pinterest, etc.) and read their posts, comments and blogs. Add social profiles to your CRM tools. You’ll be able to learn more from that content than you can from some face-to-face meetings!
2. Listen, listen and listen!
One of the toughest tasks for a salesperson is to know when to be quiet and let the customer have the floor. Those silent times allow the client to think and speak, and share info that we desperately seek. The same principle applies to Social Selling. Don’t immediately jump on a site and start your sales pitch. Listen to find out what your customer is saying about themselves, their company, their problems and competition. Gather even more information by creating Google Alerts for customers and their competitors. Prospects and customers will voluntarily, and publicly, scatter sales clues if you listen actively.
3. Reach out and make contact.
Leave a message on a wall or share a tweet. Introduce your customer to other professionals that could be an asset, or share a great link. When you see that they have a problem you can help with, reach out. Make yourself available in any medium where they are comfortable; on- line, on the phone or in person.
With Social Sales, intelligence is key. Social media is changing the way people shop, and your salespeople need to know how to engage them. This is the new reality of sales.
Eliot received his B. Comm. from Carleton University and has been honored as a Top 40 Under 40 Award winner.
He co-authored Sales Recruiting 2.0, How to Find Top Performing Sales People, Fast and provides regular insights on sales team management and hiring on the Peak Sales Recruiting Blog.
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