If you want to stay relevant and competitive in today’s sales environment, you must adopt social selling. Here are five things you need to know.
Selling has always been social, but social selling refers to the use of social media sites, like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter in order to engage with leads, prospects, and customers in order to make sales. Used correctly, it can be a powerful sales tactic. In today’s socially connected world online, it’s easier than ever to find buyers, connect with them, and get them to buy.
However, there are some things you need to know about social selling if you’re going to adopt it into your sales organization.
You probably already use social media for personal entertainment. But the way you use social sites on your personal time is going to be vastly different from the way you need to use it to make sales. You can’t just make up profiles and post seemingly random content. You need a strategy. You need to know your buyer personas. You need to know which sites they frequent. You need to know what type of content will attract them. Make sure your social selling has a purpose and a sound strategy behind it.
Social selling isn’t about quick wins. It’s a long game. It’s about forming trusting relationships with buyers over a long period of time. You won’t even have a guarantee of a sale after the long process, but you’ll certainly make a significant impact on your prospects and customers if you do it right.
It takes time to post enough valuable content on social media in order to position yourself as a thought leader and gain the trust and credibility that you need. It takes time to build relationships. With social selling, you can’t just go right for the sale. You need patience, but you’ll be sure to be rewarded if you spend the time needed to turn leads and prospects into customers, and customers into brand ambassadors and repeat buyers. You can’t make it an occasional effort—you need to be committed to it.
Social media, of course, is all about social interaction. So it’s amazing that some sales representatives still don’t realize that aggressively promoting and selling on social media sites won’t work. You have to remember that you’re selling to real people, with thoughts, emotions, and opinions. They’re not robots. You have to connect with them on a human level before you can even bring up a sale. You’ll only turn off leads and prospects if you’re being too aggressive and working too hard to get the sale on social media.
Social selling is all about getting to the customers before they purchase anything or get too far down the sales funnel. It’s about strategically placing yourself where you need to be to attract customers before they buy. You need to know who your prospects are and what their needs, desires, and pain points are so you can deliver the right content to the right people, on the right channels early in the sales cycle. You can’t wait until a prospect has already done tons of research and has already formed a purchasing decision. You have to be there while they’re just beginning to search, consume content, and self-educate if you want to be the company they ultimately buy from at the end of the cycle.
Though your ultimate goal while using social media will be to help prospects navigate their purchases and convert them into paying customers, you can use social media for so much more. You cannot ignore the impact of word-of-mouth marketing. It’s one of the best ways to increase sales, and social media can enhance your development of referral relationships by leaps and bounds. So don’t forget to keep working on customers after they’ve purchased, so they can refer your brand to their own online networks.
Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 11+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and two daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day, tropical vacations and cottaging.