Ethics and selling go hand in hand. Trust is built when integrity leads the conversation. The pursuit of wealth can often trump the importance of ethics in the business world. We’ve seen it happen over and over in our culture. A true leader is one who’s resisted the seductions and reached beyond financial success to create true wealth.
I’ve just had the pleasure of attending a keynote from Jordan Belfort at the Digital Dealer conference in Las Vegas. In the 1990s, Belfort built one of the most dynamic and successful sales organizations in the nation’s financial circles before his well-publicized fall. During that time, he soared to the highest financial heights, earning over $50 million a year, a feat that earned him the name “The Wolf of Wall Street.”
In the months leading up to Mr. Belfort’s keynote at Digital Dealer, there was a lot of talk (gossip) amongst the car people crowd about the decision to invite such a “controversial” individual to speak at a conference of car dealers. People were concerned about “how it looked.” Many people went out of their way to voice their opposition without really knowing what Mr. Belfort’s message was: “Oh, car dealers already have a stigma to overcome, why do we need to reinforce it by aligning ourselves with The Wolf of Wall Street?”
I can say now, having witnessed it, that Mr. Belfort’s story is very compelling and important to hear as we move through these challenging times. You could hear a pin drop in the ballroom as he told how he came from nothing to build his empire. He talked about his fatal decision-making and the consequences of failed ethics. He shared with us his sales principles and techniques that earned him $50 million a year before his fall and how those same techniques today propel him to repay everyone who suffered due to his poor decisions.
I found Mr. Belfort to be a true entrepreneur and masterful at sales leadership. I’m so happy I didn’t listen to the naysayers that I’m sure “chime in” wherever he goes. There are so many things I learned in the short 75 minutes he spoke and many will most likely appear in future entries to my blog.
One of the stand outs of his address reminded me how important sales leadership is in Social Selling.
95% of shoppers turn to the internet first when researching their purchase. Masters of Social Selling know that greeting the customer/prospect where they are – to help them, solve things for them – puts you in a great position to turn conversations into sales.
In Social Selling, you’re presenting yourself online to prospects. It’s vital to be a recognized authority in your industry. There’s no arguing Jordan Belfort’s authority – he lives and breathes his truth as a sales leader, warts and all. He spoke about the 3 traits of great salespeople and outlined how prospects react and buy when these traits are present during the road to the sale.
These 3 traits of great salespeople can be a guiding force in your Social Selling. It can be a minefield just taking your own sales principles and networking techniques onto to Social Media. It doesn’t have to be if you remember to use what you know, what you learn and then practice being social. Your demeanor online and the content you publish needs to reflect these 3 important traits of great salespeople.
Be Sharp as a Tack
What are some of the actions you can take in order for a prospect or customer to consider you as sharp? In Social Selling, it’s listening to your client, responding quickly with thoughtful answers, and always being on your game.
How do you communicate this on your social channels as you converse and network? Be there ready to answer questions and support customers in ways your competition can’t (or won’t). This is how you differentiate yourself. Be the first one in the relationship to provide value.
Be Enthusiastic as Hell
Everyone loves enthusiasm. We’re uplifted just by having someone who’s pumped and positive around us – we WANT to be around that person. Check yourself and take actions to remain enthusiastic when you’re online. Don’t get pulled into the negativity or petty arguments that can happen, especially around controversial subjects like politics, sex and religion.
Take your enthusiasm to everything you share on your social channels. When you’re passionate about yourself, your expertise, and your product/service, it’s contagious. Adding the connectivity of Social Media amps that infectious positivity and may be the deciding factor in the sale.
Be an Expert in your Field
This sales leadership trait is where Social Selling really shines. The content you write or produce and then share on social channels lets your prospects and customers see you as the “likable expert.” Who doesn’t want to buy from someone they know, like and trust who’s an expert in the field?
If you don’t have a blog, get one. If you do and you’re lost a bit on what to write about, start by answering your prospects’ questions. Experts always come from a place of serving. How can you serve your customers in ways that only YOU can? Look for ways to be inspired.
Jordan Belfort inspired me to share these insights with you. It’s all a continuing conversation. Take the things you learn, assimilate them and put your own insights and story with it. Sales leadership goes hand-in-hand with Social Selling. Make it your own and build your community of loyal, referring customers.