All selling is social. Always has been. Always will be.
Before Facebook, LinkedIn, and the web, people bought from people in social ways. They asked for advice from friends, they gave their opinions over the garden fence and they wrote strident letters to manufacturers when products failed to live up to their promises.
Today, social has gone into overdrive. It is now so easy for customers to find out anything they want about your products and service – both the good and the bad. They don’t need to simply rely on what’s on your site, There’s a wealth of blogs and forums and networks where they can get an unedited take on what it’s like to buy from you.
Customers are more vocal than ever (especially about the bad stuff). They have the power to enact sweet revenge for any perceived failing. While much has been made about the threat of social media, used right, the opportunities are enormous.
“There are no secrets. The networked market knows more than companies do about their own products. And whether the news is good or bad, they tell everyone.”
– The Cluetrain Manifesto
Social selling isn’t just a buzzword — it’s become a crucial way for successful sales teams to communicate with their prospects.
Social selling is when salespeople use social media to interact directly with their prospects. Salespeople will provide value by answering prospect questions and offering thoughtful content until the prospect is ready to buy.
Thus, the use of social media in sales allows salespeople to delight their prospects rather than interrupt their daily lives with cold calls and hard sells, eventually converting them into loyal customers.
The 4 Pillars of Social Selling are;
1. Create a professional brand
Today’s world of B2B buyers are very selective and will only work with vendors they can trust.
A strong professional brand shows you are an active participant in your industry. It leads to more inquiries from prospects. It leads to more responses to your communications.
2. Focus on the right prospects
Social selling enables you to find and connect with prospects more effectively than traditional sales. Over 76% of buyers feel ready to have a social media conversation and identifying prospects that meet your established criteria – such as role, function, or industry – with LinkedIn has never been easier.
3. Engage with insights
Position yourself as a subject matter expert by sharing relevant industry content, commenting on news alerts, and building your professional brand. Over 62% of B2B buyers respond to salespersons that connect with relevant insights and opportunities.
Salespersons can enhance their thought leadership by staying up-to-date with prospect news, and by identifying new contacts or decision makers when accounts make key hires.
4. Build trusted relationships
Build trust with prospects by sharing your perspectives and helping provide relevant information to common pain points. Have genuine conversations and focus on the needs of the prospect first, selling second.