9 tips for selling through social media

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5. Traits of a social salesperson

In addition to being relationship oriented and committed to serving the customer, the social salesperson is, well... social. They understand that a give-first-before-expecting- an-immediate-return mindset is what sets them apart from the majority of their competitors.

People still buy from people and they need to trust you. Trust takes time. Just because you have connected with someone on LinkedIn does not mean that you have earned trust in their eyes. Creating a perception of trust does not have to be difficult thanks to social media. By using LinkedIn or Twitter you can share content that has value, like white papers, case studies, presentations, industry information and more.

Social salespeople listen before engaging. Their goal is to help to solve problems rather than pitching what they have to sell. Impatient salespeople have found out the hard way what happens when they use social media to sell. For example, you connect with someone on LinkedIn and then turn right around and send them a sales spam email. In the mildest of repercussions, you are merely removed as a connection. But annoy the wrong person and you just might find that ill-conceived sales spam is blasted to the online world for everyone to see.

Key traits:

  • Committed.
  • Listens.
  • Engaging.
  • Trusting.

6. Your online presence must rock!

There are lots of tools available for managing your social networks but HootSuite is our favourite!

With HootSuite you can monitor and post to multiple social networks, including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, from a single dashboard. You can also schedule messages to reach your followers when they're most likely to be logged in.

Remember that buyers are doing their homework and looking for solutions to their business problems. They search Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and anything else that they can fi nd. If your ideal buyer lands on your LinkedIn page, you need to stand out.

Your profile must be compelling enough for your prospect to want to know more. Make the time to clean up your profile and then commit to keeping it fresh with content that you update on a regular basis. You may have only one shot at capturing the attention of your prospect, so make the content on your profile count.

7. Intelligence is key

As we use tools like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, the number of people that we maintain some degree of one-to-one contact and connection with via-peer networks and groups has dramatically increased in the past few years. Social salespeople will use these tools to become more adept at what you know about successfully navigating the first few critical phases of the sales process: investigate and early qualify.

Better information leads to better qualification of sales opportunities. And, used effectively, social networking shrinks the physical time it takes to move the opportunity to close. Social selling is about recognising that the buying process is controlled by a better informed and more connected customer.

While sales remains a relationship-driven business, the power of "who you know" is trumped by "what you know about who you know." The new social customer is demanding relevance from salespeople, expecting them to know about them, their companies, and their needs before engaging.

Before you decide to engage with your prospect, do your homework and leverage the information in a way that leads to building rapport. How you do this makes the difference between being perceived as someone who is paying attention and one who is stalking people.

8. The ROI: Make it matter

Use social media to research, target, and connect with your ideal (pre-qualified, most likely to buy) prospects. Then track social interactions along with phone and email. Using social media in conjunction with phone and email can increase sales cycle conversion metrics such as the critical connect rate. Busy people (a category that almost unanimously includes every business executive) are less likely to engage with salespeople than ever before.

According to Insideview, 92% of executives said they would not respond to a cold call or email from someone that they did not know.

Create a target list of the right companies and the right prospects for you. Know which companies and titles your offering is most likely to entice, and then connect with them through personal, customised, and relevant messages rather than generic scripts.

9. Managing time

There are lots of tools available for managing your social networks but HootSuite is our favourite! With HootSuite you can monitor and post to multiple social networks, including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, from a single dashboard. You can also schedule messages to reach your followers when they're most likely to be logged in.

Social Centered Selling is a consultancy focused on bringing sales and social media capabilities to sales organisations. Its website is: www.scs-connect.com.


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