Whether you are B2C or B2B selling has always been social. People buy from people they like. So why does the concept of social selling feel so new? Why is using social media in our sales process such a radical adjustment? Why is the B2C market adapting so much faster?
These are important questions—especially if you want continual sales improvement. That’s why I want to spend some time really digging into What Social Selling Is in a hyper-connected digital world.
What Social Selling Is
Social selling is about directly engaging prospects, on their terms. Learning their marketing, buying, and communicating preferences. Then positioning yourself to be of value.
The act of selling hasn’t really changed, but new digital communication tools are adjusting how we must research and engage prospects–to maintain effectiveness.
The way we communicate is radically shifting.
Let’s do a quick survey of a 20-somethings’ communication paradigm:
- Emailing is as effective as sending a telegram
- Calling a cell phone is intrusive, send a text message
- Voicemail is dead, that’s what caller id is for (tells me you called)
These are just a couple of quick example to show you what is coming. Now let’s focus on the Now of Social Selling.
Social Selling Today
Using social media in the sales process has been a little more obvious in the business-to-consumer market—you’re selling directly to a person.
Of course, this is the case in business-to-business sales too, but each deal often requires to selling to several people to win the business. This makes it feel like you are actually selling to an organization. In reality, you aren’t–you’re still selling to individuals.
In both cases, I think confusion arises from the misperception that social media is another way to cold call prospects. This is not only unwise, but ineffective.
When you think social selling, think less telephone and more cocktail party. Don’t sell by pounding social media, but rather by mingling and networking for sales.
Social Media is a HUGE Sales Database
This (using social media as a sales database) is where I think sales folks have the biggest opportunity. It’s also where I think I depart significantly with most in coaching sales people to use social media.
Forget being a Twitter, Facebook, Blogging, or [Insert latest social media tool] expert for now. Instead realize the opportunity that already exists within the World’s Largest Sales Database.
It’s true, millions of prospects update their profiles, preferences, and preferred contact information every day. They tell you their hopes, fears, dreams, motivations, and that which really ticks them off–everyday. Therefore, I guarantee you that if you do nothing more than search for pain points you can relieve and Grow Bigger Ears, as Chris Brogan advocates, you will Increase Your Sales This Month. And you won’t have to set-up a Facebook Fan Page or send out a single Tweet.
You can figure all that out later. And the even bigger benefit is that because you have been listening and researching the good and bad of social media for awhile (seeing what works and what doesn’t) you’ll be better at it when you do start engaging.
10 Social Selling Tips
Now it’s time for some actionable social selling tips:
- What’s in My Sales Stack?
- 7 Reasons Social Media is for Sales Too
- 10 Mistakes Sales People Make Online
- Survey Your Existing Customers for Social Media Adoption
- Why Aren’t You a Thought Leader?
- How to Use Social Media to Boost Your Sales
- Google for Online Sales Prospecting
- Linkedin for Sales: Resume or Sales Letter?
- Sales is Personal, Why Isn’t Your Lead Generation?
- Social Selling, It Works!
Do you have a quick question or insight on Social Selling?