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Back in the day (few years ago), most businesses wanted to keep marketing and sales teams away and separate from each other. If you are a small business, than chances are they are one department. With Social Media influencing our day to day life, we’re at an age where consumers what to have an amazing customer experience. If consumers are looking to engage brands through marketing channels like Social Media, shouldn’t the Marketing and Sales department collaborate? Potential customers are at your fingertips, but it is up to the brand to build relationships and establish trust. And that is what social selling is all about.
What is social selling?
Social selling is a way for sales teams to use social media to connect with prospects, and provide them with value, build trusted relationships, and at the end of the day, achieve the sales goals. This technique enables better sales lead generation and sales prospecting process and could potentially eliminate the need for cold calling.
LinkedIn Sales Solutions lists the 4 pillars of social selling:
- Create a professional brand
- Focus on the right prospects
- Engage with insights
- Build trusted relationships
Social Selling Tips
1. Do Your Homework
We’re a huge proponent of doing your research. Who is your target audience? Where do they spend their time? The prospect’s social media profiles and behaviors provide a simple means to gather relevant information. Take time to understand your prospective customer. Building a relationship with this person starts with knowing who they really are. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and others gives you access to information like seeing the type of content they share, which gets them to engage with a brand, and what makes them tick.
2. Be authentic.
We’re in an era where people will lash out quick than they praise. Be who you are. Be the brand the your consumers want you to be. You want to be able to relate to your potential customers. Listen to them. Listening to your customers involves monitoring social networks for mentions of your brand, business, or service. Find common ground and use it as an entry point to initiate dialogue and establish a connection.
3. Nurture the relationships.
Social Media is about relationships. Fostering them. Engaging them. The next step is to deepen your relationships, the point of selling anything. People want to invest in, work for and partner with professionals they know and trust. Social selling is about engaging with people in a disarming way. It’s about giving and receiving. Nurturing relationships takes time and calls for authenticity at all times. In the business world, we call it collaborating.
4. Don’t make them uncomfortable
No one likes to be considered “creeping” on social media. If you’re worried about adopting a social selling strategy without making potential customers uncomfortable, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Automation can help, but personalized and custom messages are perceived to be less creepy than generic messages
- Buyers are less likely to find social selling creepy if they share some connection with the company
- Keep in mind that potential clients will appreciate hearing from you if you can provide them with insight that will help them
Social selling is all about being more in tune with your customers, where they spend their time and what their habits are. Social media is not only a place to share your story, but really prospect potential new customers and develop a relationship that will turn into a sale.