Social selling is one of the fastest growing areas of social media, but what is social selling and what tactics can sales team use that assist in building the relationship with customers and prospects and isn’t just about pushing the sale?
Social selling is about attracting, engaging and converting those prospects into customers. Gaining the time and attention of prospects via social media is extremely valuable and a selling strategy that will leave your competitors in the dust if done right.
The key to remember when it comes to social selling is it’s about the relationship, finding commonalities and cultivating the relationship. Social networks enable our buyers to participate in discussions related to products and services and they take a prospect from awareness, to purchase, to being your biggest cheerleader.
So, what tactics are the most effective when it comes to social selling?
- Become a person of authority and expert in your industry.
There are many ways to do this, so follow the path that works for you. You can use a blog, a Facebook fan page, or even a Twitter account to create a place that showcases your expertise. You will use the channel you decide on to publish, aggregate and curate content that is centered on the interests of your prospects. This content should lead them to recognize not only you as an expert, but your product and/or service as a solution to a problem they are having.
- Identify engagement opportunities.
Consumers, whether B2C or B2B will often use social media as a means of discovering product and/or services they are looking for. This is the initial phase of that buying cycle. Are you listening? Monitor for comments, inquiries, and conversations that present and opportunity to engage. You’ll find several listening tools in my article entitles How to Reverse Engineer Your Competitors Social Media Efforts. Use them, you’ll be glad you did.
- Content drives social selling.
I always tell people that not having content to create, share or repurpose in social media channels is like having a car without any gas. You aren’t going to get very far. Use your marketing department to help you in driving that content. The best way to drive social selling is to pair up with your marketing department to create great content that your prospects are looking. Learn how to work with your marketing department to help grow your social selling efforts.
- Answer questions and share knowledge.
Look for other blogs and online publications that allow commenting and that interest your customers and prospects. You can find discussions that attract prospects and customers via LinkedIn Groups and Forums, Twitter and Facebook. Look for these opportunities by monitoring the interests of your prospects. Use these channels to answer questions and sharing useful resources. You will find that you will get the most “bang for your buck” in this activity because with consistent effort you will begin to see this as a lead generating tool. Best way to get started is to block 15 minutes during the day to spend time participating and sharing.
The main thing when it comes to social selling is to interact with others, it’s not the quick sale. You’ll need to invest time, but over time you’ll find it to be a wise investment and worth the effort. Don’t be afraid to use social tools to monitor and schedule posts to help you. Social selling is an effective way to prospecting and networking.
The key to social selling is to remember that it’s about connecting socially and selling second.