What is social selling?
Social selling means building relationships as part of the sales process, generally through social networks (i.e Twitter, LinkedIn etc). Where in the past, a salesperson might conjure images of cold calling/emailing, many today have found that establishing an active presence online increases their lead generation.
In other words, the salesperson that uses social selling spends time developing their personal brand and demonstrating their expertise online in the particular sector they work in.
If boasting in a vacuum doesn’t sound very effective, remember that the key word is ‘social’. A social selling salesperson spends time interacting, promoting, and getting to know their prospects on social media.
Why use social selling?
There are several advantages to employing social selling.
- You get to know intimately the industry you are trying to sell to – from the trigger words and hashtags of choice, to the influencers you want to get on board.
- By listening to prospective clients, you will be better able to understand their needs and tailor your pitch (and perhaps your product) to be more effective.
- You can keep an eye on the competition and anticipate their next move.
- Build trust. People will always trust people more than corporations. By investing some of yourself into the process, you will build real relationships with your prospects, decreasing the risk of deflection later on.
What isn’t social selling?
Social selling isn’t:
- a hard sell. It’s a more subtle approach. Don’t jump right in with your product – it’s not the place for that kind of behaviour.
- selfish. At least, not entirely. Use your social platforms to share content by others, particularly from sources that are of interest to your prospects.
- a standing still business. Social media evolves, and so must you. Keep your finger on the pulse of recent trends and see if they can give you ideas to reach out to your prospects better.
Better get started then!