Does the idea of “social selling” make you break into a cold sweat? Or, do you simply avoid it?
Many sellers are nervous about using social media tools to fill their pipelines. They worry about being inappropriate or that the tools are too “fluffy” and won’t get them to a deal quickly enough.
And they’re not wrong! I f you use social media tools badly, the results are terrible! But, that’s true about any sales method, right?
The fact is, small and medium-size businesses that beef up their sales strategies with social tools are far more likely to hit their numbers. So, it may be time to learn a little more.
In a recent Microsoft Office Small Business Academy webcast, three business experts shared social selling strategies you can start using today to beef up your sales pipeline. (Click here to watch the replay.)
Below are three points that jumped out at me.
1. Be consistent and curious
Even 15 minutes a day improves your ability to connect with your ideal customers. The key is consistency. Make a checklist of what you’ll do each day on your favorite social platform. Don’t just wander into the site; go with a clear idea of what you’re looking for, do your work, then get out.
A simple way to start? Use the tools for research.
I often go to LinkedIn to learn more about my top prospects. How do they define their job responsibilities? What’s important to them? Where did they work previously? Do we have any mutual connections or interests? What groups do they belong to? What are they reading?
It’s like being invited to my prospect’s office where I can see the certificates on the wall and leaf through the magazines on their desk. I look for insights that help me connect in new ways.
2. Beat the big companies to the punch
If you’re with a smaller company, social media tools allow you to be agile. Many giant companies have strict guidelines about using social media sites, some even block employees from accessing them.
Use the tools to start conversations about mutual interests or to explore new concepts in your industry. Soon, you will be catching the eye of your ideal new customers while the big guys are still trying to get their message approved by three teams of lawyers!
3. Watch for trigger events
It doesn’t take long to start finding triggers that your ideal customers are ready to buy. Perhaps you’ll see that someone has switched jobs. Whenever there’s a new decision maker at the helm, the grip of the status quo is automatically loosened and change is likely. It may be a great time to approach them with a new idea.
Maybe your ideal prospect belongs to a group where they are asking questions or even complaining about something you know how to fix! The tools allow you to “read their mind” and get their attention. My son is a master of this. He belongs to a very targeted group of pilots. Whenever questions are raised about insurance, he offers valuable advice, but never a pitch. Invariably, other group members will jump in and say, “If you need insurance, Ryan is the best.”
Social selling is a long game.
It is all about building rapport, trust, and connecting in meaningful ways. Used well these tools help you get noticed by your prospects, find the right people to sell to, detect triggers that your customer is ready to buy, and even build trusting relationships that bring you new streams of revenue.