Forward-thinking salespeople are embracing a more “social” approach to break down old communication barriers such as Cold Calls, and Email = Social Media. Social selling allows salespeople to laser-target prospects, establish rapport and with their networks, and possibly even ditch the dreaded practice of cold calling.
While determining the best way to connect with prospects and help coax a consumer down your sales funnel, buyers are consistently going to social networks and the Internet to research products they have an interest in purchasing. Whether you are a B2B or B2C brand, potential buyers are looking on these social media platforms for product information. As smartphones are getting bigger form factors and faster processors, consumers are apt to looking, researching with these larger handheld mobile screens.
Here is a brief breakdown of Social Media as related to the Enterprise:
Business to Consumer = Facebook
Business-to-Business products (or services) = LinkedIn (if you have a first-level connection in common with the executive or buyer who will sign off on a PO)
All types of sales = Twitter
*Twitter is the best for “all kinds of sales” as it’s a very popular network (across all demographics) that doesn’t have privacy settings that keep you from high volume searches and actions.
Social Media Sales strategies
Twitter. Make sure you “add” to the conversation a little before directly engaging in customers:
- Like (heart) a few Tweets
- ReTweet one or two Tweets
- Follow them
Friend, Follow, Follow Back or Connect with individuals with profiles that match you or your clients. Its VERY Important to build relationships on any Social Media platform. Not only can it help to generate leads, it can also help foster relationships with current customers.
Be in expert in your space. Provide solutions or tips and feedback to your customers or potential customers if they post a question or gripe on Twitter/Facebook. Prioritize the social channels and tools your audience is already using and that you’re familiar with, then organize those by their primary function.
Listening on social media is one of the most powerful tactics in a social selling strategy. Monitor for popular hashtags and keywords that are relevant to your industry or brand to find useful insights but also see what is being said about your competitors.
Never cold pitch on Social Media platforms. It comes off as desperate and will be ignored. If there is a conversation trending within your industry and potential customers, join in to offer meaningful commentary and interact with these potential buyers. Listening for these opportunities and finding out the pain points your potential customers are having will give sales people a feel for the conversation and allow them to add value.
Social media is “networking” more than it is “advertising”. The goal is to get them to call you (or vice versa), have an open mind about your product or service, and then make your sales pitch.
When its time to engage or pitch, follow these steps:
- Ask for their email so that you can send them some info on your services.
- Find them on LinkedIn and add “connect” with them.
- Send a polite email and mention a conversation you had with them on Twitter or Facebook. You can also mention a tweet or Post that you “favorite” or “liked” from them.
Good Social Sales tools in this space that keeps track of conversations and engagement include:
Hootsuite. More for individuals and small business.
Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Enterprise grade and scalable.
Its apparent that Social Media like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are not fads anymore. These platforms are now mature options to generate leads and sales online. By experimenting with different Social Media sales strategies, you can find the best way to convert them into real quantifiable results on all levels. There are no participation medals in social selling: if you’re going to do it, you have to do it right. That means providing valuable insight to the right prospects at the right time.