Become a Social Selling Top Performer Before It’s Too Late
In recent years, there has been a shift towards social selling. Especially among those selling to younger buyers. Regardless of who you’re selling to however, social selling can grease the wheels.
Social media – when used tactfully – is an incredibly powerful tool sellers in all industries can wield to win the attention of decision makers who might otherwise consider themselves too busy to take another call from a salesperson who wants to ramble on about how good their own business is.
With recent data from Forbes showing salespeople who use social selling outperform their competition by almost 80% it’s more than likely your top competitors are already using social platforms as part of their sales process.
So, with that said, it’s time to shake things up and become a little less dependent on our phones.
What Is Social Selling?
According to SuperOffice social selling is when salespeople use social media platforms to find and engage with new prospects. It is using social media to provide value to prospects by answering questions, responding to comments and by sharing valuable content throughout the buying process – from awareness to consideration, until a prospect is ready to buy.
Now you know what social selling actually is, let’s jump in to how you can incorporate your own social selling technique into your business and get your own sales team to increase revenue.
Focus On The Buyer’s Pain
Decision makers want to know how they can benefit from going into business with other companies.
What pain can you resolve for them?
What is it that you provide for them?
You need to show that you provide value and that you can solve their problems through the knowledge you hold. Doing this will establish you as an expert in your field.
Try not to make a sales pitch. Be helpful, not cold.
Chris Spurvey is a seasoned pro at leveraging social media to win the attention of his ideal buyer’s by making each conversation about them, not himself.
Posted by Start In Phx on Thursday, July 27, 2017
Chris Spurvey’s 3-Step Social Selling Methodology:
Step 1: Sort through your prospect list to see who engages with your content most frequently.
Step 2: Contact those prospects and ask them if they’d like to chat about their goals and challenges on Skype.
Step 3: Center the Skype call around them, ask them about their life, their problems, their goals etc.
THE SECRET SAUCE: By making the conversation about the prospect and not about you, the prospect feels validated. That validation translates into them becoming interested in you. They become interested in you, not because you were particularly interesting, but because your showed an interest in them.
That’s the magic of Chris’ approach. You become interesting to the prospect by being interested in them, not the other way around.
Grow Your Audience
Social selling enables your sales team to build real relationships so try to engage with the right people on social media, people who fit your buyer persona.
When looking for new prospects, you can use Linkedin’s advanced search tool to identify individuals at companies or in positions you know you can serve. Send those people invitations to connect on LinkedIn.
From there, share interesting, compelling content that speaks to your audience. Try to share content that solves your potential customer’s business problems. Don’t just link to your company’s content, it’s okay to link to other sources.
As long as you’re providing value to the prospect that’s all that matters. You’ll find it to pay off in the long run as you become more respected as an authority in your space. Then when it comes to buying, your prospects will remember you and be more likely buy from you without even considering competitor, because you’re THE GUY (or gal).
You’re seeing a pattern here, right?
Focus on your buyer, not the sale.
In an article for the Hootsuite blog Christina Newberry recommends joining LinkedIn groups and answering questions – the more relevant information you share the more you become a respected, valued leader in your area.
Answering people’s questions will establish you as a leader naturally. Whether you do it on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Quora, or anywhere else. You don’t have to be constantly promoting your own goods or services. Just by focusing on how you can help your contacts and make their lives easier you’ll start to stand out from the crowd.
Stay in touch with your new social contacts and pay attention to the content they’re posting. From time to time, like or comment to let them know that you appreciate them and what they have to say.
After doing all of this, when your contacts are ready to make a purchase you stand a much better chance of them coming to you to buy.
Social selling doesn’t mean you can now just fire out one template to hundreds of strangers via messenger.
Try to tweak each message to your potential buyer, show them that you care about who they are, where they are, what their problems are and that you are their to help rather than becoming another irritable salesperson shoving your product or good in their face only to be instantly deleted.
Prospects share so much through social about their needs, wants, and pains on their public profiles that it should be easy to tailor your first point of contact to the individual. Doing so will help you to establish a more meaningful connection and build a deeper relationship with your potential client.
Use Social Listening Tools
Get your sales team to use social listening tools to find potential clients. It can save your team so much time and increase the number of leads they have to work with.
In a recent survey by CSO Insights and Seismic one in three B2B sales professionals said that social listening tools increased their number of quality leads and reduced the amount of time they would usually spend to acquire these accounts and contacts.
If your sales team watch out for pain points and requests for recommendations then this is the perfect opportunity for your brand to provide the solution to a problem.
Great Social Listening Tools to Explore:
Socialmention is a great way to learn about brand mentions and engagement.
Buzzsumo is a great tool for content research because it allows you to search keywords to see what content is performing best based on how many people have shared it on social media.
Optimize Your Profiles
When buyers are searching for you brand of expertise, you want to actually show up on the results page, right?
So the really question is, are you easy to find on social? Are you visible?
There are a few things you can do to optimize your social media profiles to not only maximize your visibility, but to also ensure that those who find you understand how you can help them.
Brand Comprehension and Lead Generation
First, try looking at your profile from a prospect’s point of view. If you were a prospect would you know what you did and how that helped people? Would you then be inspired to inquire about how get that very same kind of help?
Neil Patel suggests that your headline on your LinkedIn profile for example, should include what good or service it is that you offer. Your headline should be answering the question “Why would anyone be interested in my product or service?”
Also, try to have a consistent tone and message across all platforms. Doing this will help prospective buyers internalize who you are and what you do with the repetition of bumping into your brand virtually in different places on the internet. As prospects become familiar with you they’ll become more likely to buy from you or refer you to a friend because they’ll feel they know what to expect from you.
Profile Funnels for Increased Lead Generation
You can look to Landon Porter and Arne Giske for great examples of how to build out a profile funnel. Each uses a lot of tactics to drive viewers of their profiles toward becoming part of their respective subscriber bases.
The easiest of their profile funnel tactics to replicate is using your profile banners to host a call-to-action [CTA]. Both Landon and Arne do this to entice people to click on the actual image. Upon clicking the banner images visitors can see the image caption which includes a link to each of their Facebook groups. This same tactic can be used to drive people to a landing page if you’re focused on building an email subscriber base rather than a Facebook group subscriber base like Landon and Arne.
Track Your Competition
It’s as important as tracking your prospects. You can gain a lot of insight from what content they post, what works for them, and how they deal with problems. From that, you can replicate what works, but better of course!
Track Your Prospects
By tracking your prospective buyers you will get a better understanding of what is most important to them. You will also begin to form an idea of which tactics and content will work best in your attempt win their attention and patronage.
Through continued tracking you’ll be able to refine and improve your social selling process, identifying areas where you could learn more. Social is constantly changing so you can never truly know enough.
You want to touch your prospects at every stage of the buyer’s journey, right?
That requires follow-up.
Even after you’ve made the sale, you want to be nurturing buyers and showing them you are still there as an ally in their corner well after the deal is done. We know this to be this kind of customer service that brings customers back for repeat business again and again.
The beauty of social media is that it allows you to stay on the radar of your highest value prospects and existing clients without being a pest. It’s like a passive form of follow-up in that sense. You can do this by promoting content that enhances customer success with your products or services, but also by creating content that entices them to engage with you in conversations.
When you can have a conversation without having to knock down a prospect’s door to chat, they come to you with their guard down, and when that happens all kinds of opportunities to work together start to become very obvious. Selling is easiest when the win-win scenarios are plain to see.
How To Create Content That Entices Your Buyer into a Conversation
A good start is by asking yourself what questions you can answer for your prospects. The more specific the questions and answers are, the better.
If you’re not sure what questions to answer, ask your own. Lead with questions that spur the conversations your customers want to have.
Even more simply – lead with a question. Just one. That’s right, effective content on social media can be very short. With a simple question, even a yes-or-no question, posted as a Facebook or LinkedIn status you can spur a conversation in the comments on that post.
Through your response to those who engage with your posts your prospects will feel heard and you might surprise yourself with how effortlessly your own expertise flows out of you and starts to win the attention of eager buyers.
If you don’t already follow Ben Perry on Facebook , you should. He’s a great example of this being done really well. He also teaches this kind of thing in his free Facebook group, Organic Marketing Secrets and at BenPerry.co
Ask For Recommendations
Social proof is a powerful thing. That’s why recommendations and reviews can greatly boost your brand and build trust with prospective buyers. When it comes to people searching to solve their problem, a positive review or recommendation from a past consumer can be a massive positive for you.
Amy Porterfield suggests that a great way to get stellar recommendations and testimonials is to reach out to past customers and ask them to let you know what they thought of your product/service and what results they got. You can reach out to them through email or social media. The best way to get a great testimonial is to get on Skype with previous buyers.
Past customers will often be great a explaining all the wonderful ways you helped them, until you put them on the spot by asking them to turn their praise into a formal testimonial. Amy suggests helping them with the phrasing of written testimonials and the scripting of video testimonials. When you do help them however, do so with an agreement that they – the client – have final say and that you won’t publish anything that doesn’t accurately represent their experience.
Incorporating Social Selling into Your Teams Day
It may seem a little daunting and you’re probably wondering how in god’s name your salespeople will find the time to keep up with buyers on social as well as completing the rest of their daily tasks, whatever they may be.
It was because of renowned social business leader Ben Martin that I found the infographic that Julia Manoukian posted on Sales For Life. Ben believes that you and your team can achieve huge results in just 30 mins per day using this social selling checklist.
Daily 12-Step Checklist For Social Selling Success:
- Find Content to share to social networks.
- Check who’s viewed your Linkedin profile.
- Send connection requests to people who engaged with your content.
- Look at who’s liked or commented on your profile.
- Send connection requests to people who engaged with your content.
- Review LinkedIn alerts.
- Organize “hot” buyers in a Linkedin folder.
- Share content with hot buyers.
- Review any additional trigger event alerts.
- Respond to messages.
- Create a handful of new conversations.
The Social Selling Big Picture
There are so many reasons to incorporate social selling into your prospecting activity. It’s the new way forward.
Rather than putting all your eggs in the phone and email prospecting baskets, you can instead be in the right place at the right time to establish a trustworthy relationship that is mutually beneficial.
The really key is to be social. Don’t simply broadcast information about you and your company. Instead be sure you and your team are trying to actually engage prospects in conversations. Then make those conversations about the prospects.
Once you get them talking long enough you might be surprised with how many of them self identify as being in need of the thing you sell. Leading up to that moment they’ll also have delivered to you the script they need to hear to be converted into a sale. Be sure to listen because all you have to do at that point in mirror the script back to them.
So what are you and your sales team waiting for?
Get out there. Engage, be creative, be personable, and be social.
About The Author of This Article: Eric Reilly worked in a butcher shop for 2 years before he left to pursue becoming a qualified digital marketer. Now, he has a Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing and he is the Owner/Operator of an online website called Guitarmuso.com.
Eric is a Social Media Manager and hopes to travel as much of the world as possible with his girlfriend.
Struggling to Drive Sales in Your Business?
DOUBLE MY REVENUE
7-Day Sales Challenge
Whether you’re a sales professional or entrepreneur who needs to level up their sales skills, this free 7-day challenge will teach you how to better identify and prioritize prospects you can covert into customers quickly. It will also teach you proven systems for year-over-year sales growth.