In order to be a next generation salesperson, you need to master the techniques of Social Selling.
I see a lot of salespeople who use hope as a strategy. They keep hoping that the good old days of 2007 were still here. They resist any mention of Social Media or networking. Every time they get the chance, they call it “a fad.”
Now, even if you are one of those types of thinkers, there’s a voice somewhere in your body that’s telling you that you need to get with the program. Ignoring it doesn’t make it go away.
Networking works! It has for hundreds of years. Even you naysayers have to agree. The world has not passed you by, it’s simply changed in the way we communicate. You used to go to events and collect business cards. Today, you have Social Media to stay in touch with your network and provide value. If you’re not using this tool then you’re most likely leaving money on the table and are slowly being left behind.
Hope is not a strategy. Here are 5 scenarios that prove it:
1. Hope does not provide value.
The right kind of leverage in a relationship allows you to extract value over time. How do you attract that kind of leverage? Be the first person in the relationship to provide value. What’s your unique promise of value? The contribution you make is unique to YOU – it’s your personal promise – it’s what you provide that adds value to the Social Selling relationship.
2. Hope does not build your online reviews.
When I was selling cars, I always found it useful to develop a rapport with my customers so that at the end of our transaction, I could say, “My business is based on referrals. I’d really appreciate it if you would share your experience with your friends and family.” Today, customers have a place to go to share their experiences – Social Media. When you’re mentioned in an online review on Yelp or Google+Local, your credibility and value increase. Your success in Social Selling depends greatly on what others’ say about you. When was the last time you asked your customer for a referral?
3. Hope doesn’t get customers to refer you.
Asking others to refer you can be an endeavor filled with anxiety. It doesn’t have to be if you practice two very important tactics. Both are keys to successful Social Selling:
- Give, give, give, than ask. Gary Vaynerchuk talks about this tactic in his book, “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook” (which is an analogy for give, give, give then ask). When you’ve given as much as you can to a buyer and they perceive your level of service as outstanding, asking for a referral is the next logical step.
- Practice makes perfect. Getting up the nerve to ask for referrals isn’t easy at first. However, it gets easier every single time you do it. Just like everything else that’s uncomfortable and very valuable, the result is worth the effort.
4. Hope does not grow your network.
Be where your buyers are. Many studies show that consumers do all of their research online before they think about visiting your store. This is why Social Selling is fast becoming the way to fill your pipeline. Think about how valuable it would be to grow and maintain your own network where you can help prospects with their research. Focus on these specific tactics to grow your network online and off:
- Post highly shareable content on Social Media
- Converse on Twitter
- Start discussions in LinkedIn groups
- Blog about your passions and answer consumer questions
- Promote your Social profiles in your email; ask prospects to connect
5. Hope won’t teach your customers about your products and services.
Be the first one in your buyers’ network to teach them about your products and services. Now, this doesn’t mean blast them with offers all the time. Social Selling serves the customer along each stage of the buying process. A solid content strategy is crucial. Knowing who you are (your personal brand) and who your ideal customer is are both key factors. The more you know about your customers, the better your content on Social Media will be. Answer their questions. Help them decide.
Are you a next generation salesperson? Maybe you haven’t decided yet. Go on, go for it!