Have you ever heard about the used car salesman selling “lemons”? Or maybe the sleazy TV salesperson just trying to make their commission? There are some unflattering stereotypes about sales people, but thankfully these stereotypes were founded on practices of the past. Sales has come a long way – it is more complex because buyers are more educated than ever before, and it is now about building a relationship rather than making a transaction.
One of the ways that salespeople are building relationships, sharing knowledge, and navigating the complexity of today’s market is through social selling. Social selling is the practice of leveraging your social networks to build your sales funnel.
It enables you to build connections using technology rather than knocking on doors, and it makes those connections more meaningful. So, if social selling is all about meaningful interactions, how much selling is really involved? As it turns out, a lot. Find out how to leverage your social networks and your sales ability to close more deals.
Building your Relationships at Scale
While we all agree that relationships are important in sales, it is also well-known that building them takes time. When you are under pressure to deliver results, you do not have the resources to perfume activities that aren’t driving your numbers up. Social selling is a great solution. Social selling enables you to build your relationships and listen to your prospects at scale.
Become a Resource for Knowledge and Expertise
Your prospects are not interested in learning about your product’s new feature unless it will help them perform better. Because they ultimately care about their own organization and their own success, you should focus on becoming a resource that they can use to do this.
Using social media, you can share your content, other content you come across on the web, or promote services and resources that will be useful to your audience. Spend an hour each week writing and scheduling your social posts, perhaps through Linkedin, Twitter, or any other channel where your prospects are active, and take 15 minutes each day to engage with your audience. Reply to comments, answer questions, or engage with new people through your social channels.
Ask for the Sale
When you begin by becoming a useful resource, you build a level of trust with your prospects. Then, when you do reach out to introduce your products or services, your prospect will be more likely to respond positively. If you have been developing a relationship through social, you should be aware of the types of challenges your prospects are facing, so leverage that information to present your solution in a way that highlights how it is solving your customers’ pain. Once your prospect understands how your solution will solve their pain, you are ready to close the sale.
Is social selling really selling? The answer is a resounding yes, but it is taking a new approach to selling. When you start by building relationships and a reputation as an expert, you may even start to see prospects reaching out to you.
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