Let’s skip the sugar coating: We are a generation that goes gaga on fads. For example, just look at these winning headlines “100 ways to get rich quickly”, or “lose 15 pounds in fifteen days.”
While fads come and go, their overall popularity clearly establishes that we are impatient by nature. We get hungry and expect Door Dash to have food from our favorite restaurants at our doorstep in no time. We need a ride; we fixate on the Uber map wondering what’s taking the driver so long.
Business is no exception. Waiting for results can be frustrating when it comes to social selling. For all of you experimenting in the arena, we have curated these time-tested tips to get new revenues into your pipeline faster.
Let’s get started. Right away!!!
1. Stand Out: Build your personal brand
Sometimes a little preparation can save us time in the end. This is why having an engaging social media profile is so important. Regardless of how well you follow steps 2-7 below you will have less success without first preparing yourself for meaningful conversation online.
When creating your profile you need to have your target buyer in mind. What would impress them about you? Would it be all the Sales awards you’ve won? Or could it be a few mini case studies on how you increased productivity for your customers with your consultative business solutions?
Would your clients rather read glowing recommendations about you from your manager and your director of HR? Or would they want to hear about your work from your customers who you serve so well?
Lastly, do your prospects care about your Sales education or your technical certifications? Which is more likely to give them a reason to meet?
If you take the right approach with your profile you can greatly increase the engagement, meetings and sales generated by social selling.
2. Success comes to those who know their prospects
Customers are smart. They do not directly jump to conclusions just because you claim to be the best. Their decisions are backed by active investigation taking into account your website, blogs, content, and of course, your social media profile.
If you want to nail the art of knowing your prospects, you need to be as smart as them. Invest time in identifying them online and then fine tune these results with the key details you find buried in their profile. If they have a blog, subscribe to it. Set up Google Alerts to stay updated every time their name is mentioned on Google. You can do something similar to Google Alerts on LinkedIn with LinkedIn Navigator.
That said, make sure you do it intelligently. After all, it’s not a good idea to have an inbox that’s full of insignificant information. The key is to separate the signal from the noise.
3. Research: Read, Listen, and Learn
Social selling is not a destination. It is instead an on-going journey that evolves through the iteration of read-listen-learn –the critical elements of any good social listening and engaging. Make sure you read what prospects are saying, or what kind of stuff influences them. Listen to what they have to say or when they interact with other people/brands.
Implement these findings to tailor your social media posts. Use this information as a reason to bring you together. Once you determine what they love, you are eventually going to become one of their favorites, and that’s the whole point, right?
4. Leverage your network and create allies on the way
Building a network is a continuous activity and a major responsibility for anyone social selling.
Follow and engage with prospects, customers, influencers, and businesses on social media platforms. Get to know their industry, interests, and personalities. Engage with them and you’ll build an excellent network. It can be time-consuming, but it really is that simple.
You can also plan your day to include a dedicated time to interact with these key prospects. Try building 30 minutes into your day and set a goal of 5-10 interactions with you hot prospect list on social media
- Add value: educate your prospects
Imagine landing on a social media profile that talks only about the extraordinary services and products that person can sell you. Then you land on a second profile where the person offers useful links and information on topics that are important to you. Which one are you going to pay more attention to? Enough said.
6. Make the most of your downtime
Smartphones rule our lives and they are always with us. So rather than just fiddling while Rome burns as Emperor Nero was said to have done, we might as well use this time wisely to fill the sales pipeline. While you are waiting for the train or to get to the front of the line at lunch, check out your client’s profiles and engage with them. Use your creativity to figure out a good reason to reach out then and there on social media.
7. Empower each stage of the sales cycle with social selling
If prospecting and lead generation is all there is to your social selling repertoire, you need to up your game. Social sellers across industries apply social selling expertise to enhance all stages of the sales cycle from prospecting to closing.
Even when you have built a great customer relationship, you can continue to engage with your network by connecting with them over a cup of knowledge and bringing them fresh content about the industry. The idea is to be a resource for them not only at the initial stage but also throughout the buyer’s journey.
8. Take that conversation offline
Even I have to admit it. There is a world beyond social media, and it is equally important to the online one. After winning your client’s heart, plan a meeting to discuss everything in person. This may seem obvious but for some social sellers it isn’t. Once you’ve made contact online it is tempting to try to make the process go even faster by handling all phases of the sale online. Don’t fall into that trap. Even the most ardent online buyers want to have conversations and meetings that don’t include a hashtag. You will find that offline conversations will boost your growing social selling sales funnel.
The sales pipeline is the lifeline of your business. Every essential phase of the sale needs proper attention. By incorporating these eight social selling tips to grow the sales funnel, and by budgeting your time wisely, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a social selling expert.