Let’s face it. Social Selling is here. Studies have shown that more than 3/4 of salespeople who use social media in the sales process outperform those who don’t. Salespeople and their managers who leverage social networks (and the associated tools) in their overall daily sales process enjoy all of the following:
- Build solid sales relationships
- Lead generation
- Close the sale
- Customer retention
It’s a wonder then why so many salespeople (and their managers) discount the value and benefits of Social Selling. Perhaps they need more evidence.
Many of my clients are reporting more traffic from Facebook (in some cases 3 times the amount) than from 3rd-party lead providers. The evidence is here but I fear the motivation to produce is not. Social Selling is not something you can do offhandedly. You must be ready to climb the mountain and an intention to help others is your sherpa.
If you’re ready to conquer Social Selling, or maybe you’ve tried it without results, here are 5 tips to grow your network and build a phenomenal online presence:
1. Create Content That Inspires People to Share
Whether you’re a salesperson on the front lines or a business, everyone needs high engagement on social networks. The root of all success on social is content that attracts your ideal customers. There’s been a lot of talk lately about Organic Reach on Facebook coming to dead stop. For many, this is true. Why is it true? Because your content sucks. People engage with things online that matter to them. If you’re posting things that aren’t of value, no one engages.
2. Participate in a Twitter Chat
Twitter chats are a great way to meet people, get inspired, build relationships and show your expertise. I have a client who participates regularly in a few chats and it’s completely boosted his online credibility and presence. Social is called Social because people talk to one another. If you’re not talking to people, you’re not building rapport…and you’re not selling.
3. Interact in Groups on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is another great way to meet people, discuss topics related to the things you sell, and establish you or your business as a thought-leader. People love belonging to a community – it’s in our DNA. Community members buy from community members. Being in a LinkedIn group and sharing valuable content regularly builds your network. Your efforts will become evident in the amount of connection requests you receive. LinkedIn groups are also a great way to help others (this is the Giver’s Gain mentality).
“You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.” ~Zig Ziglar
4. Attend or Even Start Your Own Google Hangout
There’s so much information your customers need during their buying decision process. Especially on the subject of car buying but this is true for many other industries, too. Google Hangouts are ideal for opening up dialog around the questions your customers have. In sales, we’re all teachers. People have questions about models, price, financing, comparisons, “which is best for me?”, even questions about reviews and online reputation. Google Hangouts let you teach people how to buy and get you noticed (and eventually spotlighted) in Google search results.
5. Blog at Least Twice a Week and Syndicate It on Social Media
I’m not going to pull punches here: blogging is scary and difficult, especially for those that don’t think they can write. Then, if you’ve managed to brave the big bad wolf and you’ve actually written some content, it’s hard to get eyeballs on it. While it’s not easy, the payoffs are huge so please don’t let opportunities (sales) pass you buy. Everyone started somewhere. Take a stab at it. Get some help and advice. Leverage your network by syndicating your posts.
In these 5 tips to grow your network, the common thread is getting yourself seen by helping others. Zig Ziglar impacted more than a quarter billion lives. He spent his life teaching people how to sell and in the process, taught people how to buy his products. Whatever industry you’re in, the same process can work for you. Isn’t it time to conquer the mountain of Social Selling?