There’s a secret out there that the great sales stars know, but perhaps you don’t.
If you’re not using social selling, then you’re falling behind.
Social media lets you build an online profile, and what you choose to post and share allows others to increasingly value you as an expert with something of value to share. The more your followers recognise your social brand, the more they warm to your message, and the more they trust you as an expert, the more likely they are to buy the actual product or service you are selling.
LinkedIn research indicates that social sellers enjoy 45% more sales opportunities, and that 78% of salespeople who utilise social selling outperform those who don’t use social media. Social selling is such a potent way of converting prospects and building your leads that you’d be mad not to be investing some time and energy into boosting you social media sales strategy.
Have you ever wondered why a lead won’t take a phone call from you, but soon after accepts your contact request on LinkedIn? Have you ever thought of all the people following you on Twitter or on your company facebook page who aren’t actually clients- so what are they doing there? The answer is: they’re checking you out. They’re interested in you and the content that you post, and therefore are potentially interested in what you’re selling—but you need to get them over the line.
So the question must be: are you doing enough social selling to convert these potential leads into paying clients?
Some key points for effective social selling
1. Consider your audience carefully and target the right social network for that market.
B2B relationships are overwhelmingly built on LinkedIn and Twitter and public-facing companies are expected to have a vibrant and engaging Facebook page. The good news is that all of these platforms also have the opportunity to invest in paid advertising too. Facebook especially is proving a great way to generate highly targeted inbound leads at a relatively low cost.
2. Follow the companies or individuals that you’d love to sell to.
Retweet, like, comment on, or share their content to get yourself noticed and to prompt them to follow you back. This is one of the fastest ways to get yourself onto a company’s radar.
3. Use LinkedIn to its maximum potential.
Set up alerts to show you when your leads join LinkedIn, and tailor your contact request message to the individual, rather than just leaving it as the generic ‘I’d like to connect’ LinkedIn message. Join LinkedIn groups and comment in them- you’ll find that you get a lot more profile views and contact requests once you take this step.
4. Write, share, and comment on relevant and interesting industry information to mark yourself out as someone who is tuned in to the market.
Setting yourself up as a ‘thought leader’ encourages buyers to reach out to you: according to LinkedIn, 92% of B2B buyers engage with salespeople they consider to be thought leaders.
5. Use the search functions on Twitter and facebook to follow conversations about your brand and trending topics in your field.
Once you’ve found some interesting streams, then you need to start posting content to get your message out.
6. Make sure you respond quickly.
One potential danger about busy salespeople posting on multiple social media channels is that it takes effort to keep up to date with comments, queries and other communication from clients and prospects. However, this is a requirement of successful social selling: you must respond in a timely fashion, or you may lose your leads to your competitors (74% of customers buy off the first salesperson to add value, so you must be quick.)
Finally, post regularly, keep your social pages current, and include a call to action to compel your audience to buy. Good luck!