The name social selling speaks for itself. This term is a fusion of the power of social networking and the art of selling. In fact, social selling is about leveraging your social network to find the right prospects, building trusted relationships, and ultimately, achieving your sales goals.
So, each time you log into a social media network with the aim to connect with your new prospects or to give them value by answering questions and sharing relevant content, you are social selling.
Social selling vs. Traditional selling
The world is a dynamic place. Consequently, people are changing; competition is becoming tougher. Therefore, traditional prospecting methods no longer work. Why?
The most important turnover that has happened in the last few years is the rising power of the buyer. Today, buyers are asking questions, finding answers alone and making their final decision even before meeting the salesperson. Therefore, the more informed buyer has changed the sales process from a push to a two-way-street conversation.
The biggest difference between social and traditional selling are different goals. The aim of traditional selling is a sales person’s commission. With social selling, it’s the relationship.
Let’s be real; both are about money, but social selling gives results only in the long run which means it focusses on the long-lasting relationship and trust. On the other hand, traditional selling focusses only on short-term results. That is the reason why traditional selling is not so efficient anymore.
Why is social selling important?
Taking into consideration that 90% of top performing salespeople now use social media as part of their sales strategy, you don’t want to be the only one that doesn’t.
Also, the fact that the success rate of cold calls to appointments is only 0.3%, reported by Baylor University’s Keller Center for Research. It makes you wonder about your future sales moves, right? To put it differently, you need to make more than 1,600 calls to generate five sales meetings. That is a lot of time and a lot of effort for such a low success rate while competition is not sleeping.
Therefore, we bring you the top 3 reasons why you should focus on social selling:
- Social selling builds long-lasting relationships
As it’s already said, social selling is all about long-lasting relationships. According to CSO Insights and Seismic, 31% of B2B professionals said that their social selling allowed them to build deeper relationships with their clients. As a result, you are not just a salesperson to them, you are a person they trust. Also, it is not just a sales process. Instead, it is a march together towards success.
- Social selling makes you an industry expert
Becoming an industry expert is not something you can achieve overnight. It takes blood, sweat, and tears to earn that kind of title.
Did you know that Accenture’s State of B2B Procurement Study finds that 94% of B2B buyers conduct online research before making a business purchase? Here is where you can find your shot.
- Social selling creates a recommendation net
Good news spread fast. With the power of word-of-mouse, they spread even faster. Each cultivated relationship with every single prospect represents a door for a new one.
The good strategy is the key to it. Take for example LinkedIn, which is one of the most powerful B2B social media platforms with 467 million members. Of course, all 467 million LinkedIn members won’t be your perfect prospects. The real question is: How to know which one is?
It is easier than it seems. First of all, connect with the customers who’ve already done the purchase from you. Then, browse their connections and find people to whom your product/service and your company would be a good fit.
After that, you have two choices. Either ask your previous customers for the introduction or ask them to record a testimonial video how did you help them reach their goal. Not only this will open the doors for you, but it will create the first tie of trust.
Steps towards social selling strategy
Social selling needs a strategy. Without a strategy, it’s a failure. Maybe you are asking yourself where to start? It’s always the hardest step. That is why we bring you a short yet efficient selling strategy guide.
- Identify your target audience
Identifying who is your target audience and who would be your perfect client is the first step. Like this, you can create their profile – how they look, what are their interest and what are they looking for. Also, you can identify which social media platforms they use. This is a crucial step for your social selling journey.
- Create a personal brand
Today social media platforms are the mirror of someone’s expertise. Companies are very picky when it comes to trusting others. Therefore, creating a personal brand shows your impact and expertise in that particular industry.
- Create original content
Here the content is the king. Do the research and create content with helpful tips, different types of strategies or anything that could be of your prospects interests. Share your product updates but forget the old fashion selling point of view. You need a new perspective, the informing one.
Keep your followers engaged on your social media platforms through:
- Company blog posts
- Entertaining photos & videos
- Interesting facts & statistics
- Customer testimonials
- Find your audience online and engage them
All the steps before are preparing for this last one. Now, it’s crucial to find the right prospects and to engage them. Moreover, the most important thing is to build a long-lasting relationship. Remember, it is a never-ending process.
All in all, social selling focuses on the prospect’s needs first, selling second. For traditional selling, it’s the other way around.
Even though numbers are impressive, you need a strategy. This is the only way you can get results. Create meaningful content. Share knowledge. Connect with your existing customers. Find on their profiles prospects that are similar to them. Ask your existing customers for a testimonial or recommendation. Build trust.
This is the only right path. Take your first step of social selling today.
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