Selling is a social activity . Before Facebook, LinkedIn and the Internet generally people bought from people in social ways.
They asked for advice from friends, they gave their opinions over the garden fence and they wrote letters to manufacturers when products failed to live up to their promises. This is why salespeople spend so much time establishing a personal relationship, not just selling their product
Technology now makes it so easy for customers to find out anything they want about your products and service – both the good and the bad. They don’t even need too simply rely on what’s on your website says. Quite often that’s the last place they look.
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).
We quite often talk about the threat of social media however it also brings many opportunities.
We categorise these opportunities as Social Selling.
There are buyers across the world over who want what you’ve got to sell. They have a need, they have a timeframe for purchase, they even have budget. If only you could get in front of them, they’d buy from you right now. If only. Of course, to get in front of them you need to find out who they are, where they are and how to contact them.
Prior to Social Media this was very hard and very expensive. We often talk about using Social Media to Market our business and even now to provide Customer Service (see here).
There real opportunities however to use Social Media for selling .Research conducted last year by advertising agency OgilvyOne found that in the UK alone:
- 69% of respondents think the buying process is changing faster than sales organisations are responding
- 93% have received no training in using social media (and 53% want help doing so)
- 71% believe that being a salesperson will be radically different in 5 years time.
So how can you start using Social Media to sell?
There are some relatively simple steps.:
- Make extensive use of Facebook and Twitter to see what your customers and prospects are saying and to find those looking for customer service and sales help.
- Follow customers, competitors and thought leaders on Twitter/LinkedIn to see what they are saying.
- Join key customer groups on LinkedIn and begin monitoring what they are saying.
- Run LinkedIn searches for carefully selected outbound targets.
- Endorse a prospect/customer’s abilities on LinkedIn.
- Research prospects on LinkedIn and Twitter before an email, call, or meeting.
- Like or comment on a prospect/client’s social media post.
- Set up Google Alerts for competitor terms (brand names, products, key people) –see google.com/alerts.
There is a lot more to Social Selling of course so if you would like us to help you use Social Media as a Sales tool for your business get in touch for a free consultation. contact us