The sales game has changed. Cold calling is getting more difficult, while buyers are flocking to social media for answers. If you’re a salesperson or you manage a sales team, it’s time to leverage the power of social networks and boost your sales performance with Social Selling.
Depending on the industry you’re in, there’s a very good chance the buyers of your products and services are online researching their best choice. Why not be there, meet them, and help them along the path to purchase with great information and solid advice?
The best salespeople aren’t just present on social networks, they position themselves as credible and influential sources on customer networks. Here are 5 top-notch tips to help you become a Social Selling rockstar!
1. Cultivate a Social Presence Starring YOU
You can be like everyone else….or you can figure out what you do better than anyone else and tell your story.
Start with the Social selling channels that you’re most comfortable with but also factor in where your most ideal customers spend their time. If you already have a Facebook page, Twitter presence or LinkedIn profile, start with one and build as you go.
- Upload a good “branded” profile picture. (I can’t tell you how many people want to connect with me that don’t have a picture. This is Social, folks. Let people see who you are). A branded picture is a professional shot that helps people see WHO you are.
- Take advantage of the free real estate. Complete all of your profile details. Use keywords in your descriptions where possible so that people who search for the things you sell can find you.
2. Master the Art of Networking
Networking is done online and offline and it’s not new. If you’re good at it, you have a steady stream of leads in your pipeline.
- Great networking is about being seen and adding value to relationships.
- The term “Mingle as if you’re Single” works offline and online. Use your network to TALK to people.
- Engage as a specialist in your industry, become a trusted advisor.
- Listen to what others have to say and ask questions. Nobody likes people who talk constantly about themselves.
- Always be ready to take the conversation to a next step – whatever that may be.
3. Provide so much value that people would pay you for it!
Helping people is the new marketing. What are you doing right now that’s adding value to your current and potential relationships? Here’s how to add value:
- Post helpful, relevant content on your Social channels.
- Blog about subjects that your ideal customers want to know about, including practical “How To” guides.
- Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and post information you’d like if you were considering that purchase.
- Worry less about selling and more about teaching.
4. Become a Content Monster
Everything you do and say tells people who you are. If you’re a great salesperson with awesome customers and nobody else sees it, did it really happen? Prospects are online today and that’s good news. The only way people found out about great salespeople before Social Media was by word-of-mouth through slow traditional channels. Social Media amps word-of-mouth and there’s never been a better opportunity to show prospects what it’s like to do business with you.
- Blog posts
All of these are ways to use content marketing to “sell” your customers’ experience to other potential customers. Let your current and repeat customers do the talking for you.
Set an intention to look for ways to develop content that speaks to your personal brand. It should be subjects that include:
- Questions your customers need answered.
- A snapshot of your interests, communities you’re part of, and the things you like to do outside of work.
- Interesting stories about customer experiences, including the negatives that turned into positives.
5. Ask for the Sale
Every sale starts with a conversation. Social selling isn’t about trying to sell things to people who don’t know you. It’s spending the time and effort to develop a trusted network from which to retain current customers, attract new customers and garner referrals. You earn the right to “ask for the sale.”
Asking for a referral or the sale is where some salespeople get stuck. Get unstuck by:
- Plan your work and work your plan. Take small first steps in conversations. You will fail and that’s a good thing. The real failure is to not realize how close you were to success when you gave up.
- Don’t try to reinvent the wheel – get some good sales process training. Training increases your confidence and gets you out of your comfort zone.
- Practice makes profit: by putting things into action you’ll get better and better. The results will be successful Social Selling.