What does it take to be successful at selling - and to drive sales in any kind of business? The answer today bears no resemblance to even a decade ago, such has been the impact of social media on selling. More than that, though, society has evolved and sales approaches that were highly effective are being rendered obsolete. The legality of cold calling is being undermined across the Western world, with government initiatives to create databases of people who may not legitimately be cold-called.
It's more than just government legislation, though. Today, we are increasingly unreceptive to cold calling. Instead, we are far more likely to decide we need to buy goods or services and then research potential suppliers and approach those we wish to engage. Or - and this is why social selling is so important - we will have formed relationships with potential suppliers via social media and so at the point when we're deciding whether to engage someone (and who to engage), we embark on making that decision with certain suppliers in pole position to secure the business!
One of the reasons small businesses engage companies like ours is that they want to start generating leads via social media and exploiting social selling. But for those wishing to better themselves and go it alone, here are three informative videos highlighting approaches and tactics you might adopt, all great ideas that will hopefully spark your inner social selling instincts.
For those who've been cranking up their sales results through these social approaches, the "Why" is abundantly clear! Suffice it to say that studies conducted these last years have shown that top performing salespeople leverage social sales tools and tactics far more than their lesser-performing peers. The impact on results is proven.
The hard part, for those who've not yet immersed themselves in this way of selling, is figuring out the first steps to take to become more effective at selling via social media. Hopefully these resources will help:
Koka Sexton is a renowned social expert, the former head of social selling at LinkedIn, and a social selling innovator. Note his focus on proactively engaging with potential prospects - and the emphasis he puts on having at least three "touch points" with someone before the opportunity to sell will present itself. This is the polar opposite of the disruptive sales tactics of old. No longer are we cold calling, direct mailing or employing interruption marketing techniques. Instead the focus is on building relationships at scale to create a pipeline of warm leads and credible prospects.
Wes Schaeffer is CEO of The Sales Whisperer. In this video he shares with Nimble Growth Hacking host Mark Fidelman some simple methods for generating leads and driving sales by leveraging social media. Several key points are made that you can adopt into your own workflow. The first is the importance of finding a super-efficient way for accessing and recording the social media details of everyone you come into contact with in your business. This allows you to make far more informed decisions about whether or not they are worth you investing your precious sales time with. But just as important is the clever way in which Wes uses this data to find commonalities with potential prospects, so that relationships can be quickly formed and warm lead conversations can be started at scale.
Jack Kosakowski is CEO of Creation Agency and focused on B2B Social Sales Strategy and Execution. In this video for Entrepreneur, he shares five quick ideas you can mimic to achieve greater sales success. Just like Wes Schaeffer, he highlights the importance of getting a chrome extension that allows you to see everything you need to know about someone within seconds - from their LinkedIn data to their Google+ information But he also shines a light on the information you can glean from seeing what people are talking about on social media. Often these insights are enough to uncover the potential for a sale - and provide a door opener to engage with the prospect. Another great tip is to make sure you've connected with every one of your past and current clients, the rationale being that it's far easier to win new sales from those you've worked with before than to start afresh with brand new prospects.
I hope these short videos have given you a taste for the results your business and sales team could be enjoying. If you've any particular sales tactics working well for you on social media, please do share in the comments - would love to hear your thoughts. Or if a chat about exploiting this to the full would be helpful, feel free to connect with me via my LinkedIn profile.
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