First, what is social selling? I went to Wikipedia today to get a definition to share with you, and guess what? It isn’t even there yet. So maybe in my free time I will add it…unless you beat me to it. So, we are on the cutting edge – right here, right now. Social Sales Link is defining Social Selling as social media imbedded into the fabric of a companies sales process. It is bridging the gap between the marketing department and the sales department, in fact, when done well, the two will be friends again. Why?
1. Social Selling is a lead generation machine. It attracts and engages our prospective clients through thought leadership and content that provokes critical thinking. It educates the consumer before we ever even know they exist. When our prospects are searching for information on what we do, what we sell, they find us because we are social selling.
2. It is a key piece of the information gathering and pre-call planning. We can learn incredible insights into our prospect and identify their core mission and values from what we find on twitter, LinkedIn, Google, webpages, press-releases and so much more. We can gain knowledge on what is important to their organization right now, what initiatives they are running and what success they are proud of. Bridging what we learn into our conversations and selling process proves that we are on pulse of what matters to them.
3. With the power of LinkedIn we can leverage our connections. Through advanced searches we can identify connections that we have in common and make some phone calls. Learn about them personally and leverage those relationships to create immediate rapport. In addition, we can search prior employees of the company and even the specific department you are selling into, learn about their experiences, and gain inside knowledge of the selling process and how they made buying decisions in the past. This is inside information that you could never get anywhere else.
4. We can learn about their industry trends. Through just a little bit of research, it is simple to understand what is going on in their world. Read influential blogs in their industry, find out how the company’s stock price is doing and what the trend has been. How about their competitor’s? Identify if there have been mergers or acquisitions for them or in the industry as a whole. You can find an annual report or press-release. You can even do a little search on the job boards to see if the company and/or industry is hiring.
5. Social Selling is referral selling. LinkedIn is an online rolodex of all of our connection’s connections – and we can search and filter to identify who they know that we want to know. Then we need to ask. When our client says, “I love working with you.” You say, “I am so glad, happy clients are a great thing. Mr. Client, I was wondering if you knew of anyone else that could benefit from my services the same way you do?” (AND THEN YOU GET THE BLANK STARE) They say, “I can’t think of anyone right now, but if someone should ask, I would be happy to make an introduction. Then you say, “I hope you don’t mind, but I noticed you were connected to a few people on LinkedIn that I would be a good introduction, can I run the names by you?” -Home Run! Touch Down! Goal!
Social Sales Link would love to hear how Social Selling is changing your world. Share in comments!
Social Selling is not a fad – get on board or miss the train! If you have questions on how social selling can work for you and your company please EMAIL US or call 888.775.5262.
CLICK HERE to watch our video – 5 LinkedIn Tips so You NEVER have to Cold Call Again!