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Topics Covered: <a href='/resources/search/?query=social media engagement'>social media engagement</a> | <a href='/resources/search/?query=Social media'>Social media</a> | <a href='/resources/search/?query=marketing communication'>marketing communication</a> | <a href='/resources/search/?query=Marketing'>Marketing</a>
Marketing & Tech
Matthew Cook

Sales people are always struggling to generate leads, to prospect, to learn more about their potential buyers, to make contact, and to establish relationships with customers. Social networking can help them accomplish all of these goals and improve the sales process quickly and easily.

However, the majority of sales people haven’t gotten on board with social selling yet. For most, this is simply because they don’t know how to use social media to sell. 

If you’re interested in using social media as a sales tactic, then use these tips to get started on the right foot.

1. Connect on the Right Platforms
Social media can be a great selling tool—but only if your clients and prospects are using the sites that you’re joining. Your messaging will fall on deaf ears if you’re using platforms that your clients aren’t active on. Before joining social networks as part of the sales process, you must first know your client base and understand where they’re interacting online. You don’t have to limit yourself to just one channel and you don’t have to limit yourself to the most popular sites. Go where the clients are. Perform market research to find out what channels to join.

2. Listen
Social listening is a powerful thing. Your prospects and customers are talking about your brand and the competition online. They’re asking for advice on buying decisions. They’re discussing their needs, wants, and pain points with their networks. By taking the time to just listen to their needs, you can effectively learn more about your prospects before you initiate conversation. You’ll know how to tailor your pitch to become the ideal solutions provider. This will offer you a better chance of making the sale.

3. Use Social Selling throughout the Entire Sales Process
Of the few sales people who already use social selling, many only use it to identify new leads and make connections with them, which is a shame, really. Social selling can be used throughout the entire sales process—not only to prospect, but also to move leads down the sales funnel, to connect with unresponsive leads, to delight customers after the sale, and more. Use social selling to its maximum potential.

4. Sell Yourself
The most important thing you can sell on social media is yourself. Your leads and clients are no doubt looking you up online before they talk to you. They want to know if it’s worth their time to respond. This means your presence on the internet is important. Social media is a great place for you to showcase what a top sales rep you are—you can display the top companies you’ve worked with on LinkedIn, for example. It’s a great place to show that you’re a trusted advisor—you can post links and create your own content that will be valuable to prospects. It’s a great place to show that you care about your business and industry—by joining relevant groups. Sell yourself, not your products or services, and you’ll increase your success on social media.

5. Nurture
You know that your clients aren’t going to buy just because you’re pushing them to—they’ll make their purchasing decisions when they’re good and ready. Until that time comes, you have to keep them warm and nurture them. You can do this easily on social networking by continuously sharing relevant, valuable, and non-sales content with them. Plus, doing so will also keep you top of mind, increasing your chances of being the clients’ go-to sales person once the time to buy does come.

There’s no doubt that social networking is important to business today. Studies show that sales people who use social media outperform their peers. Use these tips to get started and reap the rewards of social selling. 

About the Author:

Matt-Cook-SalesHubMatthew has over 20 years of sales and sales management experience. He is the founder of SalesHub, an inbound marketing agency that helps companies generate leads, boost revenue, and adapt to the new way customers buy. When he’s not helping companies improve their revenue, he trains and competes in half ironman distance triathlons to “relax”.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are strictly those of the author. CPSA does not endorse any of the companies, products and services mentioned within this article.
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