I’m almost apologetic for using the term social selling. It has become cliché and even a catchall for so many different concepts in online selling.
While the term is often heard and used, it is still taking time for sales forces to embrace the concept and the need for social selling. It’s new, it’s non-traditional and it really reverses past-practise.
Here are five concepts to embrace at the heart of social selling.
1.) It’s not about what you sell it’s about what the client needs. Gone are the days when a salesperson can wind up with a pitch that sells the shiny new toy. Most buyers look for information online and most of the buying decision is made before they even reach out to a salesperson. This means it’s imperative you reach that buyer on their terms – getting in their head to provide answers to the questions they ask themselves about any product.
2.) It’s social over selling. It’s still about trust and relationship building. Social selling demands the salesperson proves themselves an expert in places where the buyer tends to look. It’s about building a personal identity and an affinity with a potential client or customer with much less direct contact. Even LinkedIn (a business rather than social network) gives more algorithm weight to postings by an individual than a posting on a corporate page. That’s because relationships matter – a lot.
3.) You need to be consistently posting information. It’s not about a flurry of information every quarter when you have a new sales campaign. It’s about being a constant presence on social media so you are front of mind as a channel leader, a channel expert, approachable and passionate.
4.) It’s about consistency. Are you providing the same message or do you contradict yourself. Is the personal brand you build consistent with the company brand? It’s about alignment and consistency – both build trust and show professionalism.
5.) Analysis, measurement and research. Your client is doing research on you and your company, you need to gleam valuable information about potential clients too. Knowing your potential client will help improve your return on social selling investment.
When you commit to social selling as a critical part of your outreach, your network continually expands, the quality of your leads improves and your own subject and product knowledge improves.
Social selling is a critical part of the salesperson’s mix. If you don’t embrace social selling, just remember your competition will.