Great post on social selling! In my experience (15+ years of selling various things!) as you go higher up the food chain it takes a lot more work to get the attention of your prospect; but if you are talking to a top executive about something that could genuinely help their company - the decision making process becomes much shorter. Showing that you know what you are talking about via social channels can open the doors to the boardroom!
For me, social selling has to be done with subtlety and thought. You cannot blunder in and start pitching, rather, you need to prove that you know what you are talking about, show empathy and interest and be totally commited to playing the long game.
It's worth bearing in mind that social selling is not strictly the preserve of us sales types. Almost everyone is doing it: your company blog is a tool for social selling, your thought leadership pieces on linkedin are social selling, your company twitter account is for social selling.
How often in the last couple of years have you arranged to meet someone to talk about business and not looked them up online? - Not many? Do you formulate an opinion about that persons credibility based on what you find? How many times have you seen the person you are meeting has viewed your linkedin page or followed you on twitter? - Quite a lot? Do you think they formulate an opinion about you? If you are good at social selling they should arrive for your meeting in a positive frame of mind!
Blogging, following, sharing and adding something to the debate all help show that you are someone worth talking to. If you get it right, the people you want to talk to will come to you.
Selling on social is a long game, but a potentially rewarding one. It requires more attention to detail and a deeper understanding of target audiences. However, if done right, it could reap the rewards and build long lasting relationships. So what can be done on social to capture the limited attention of C-level executives (and any other senior decision maker)?