Social selling is the idea of building personal relationships with customers that are originally cultivated on social sites (think social media accounts like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter. etc.). The premise behind social selling is that the sales person builds and promotes their personal brand to buyers who have the potential to become customers. A key to success is to remember that a relationship extends past a single sale, and the relationship is the most important part of cultivating a loyal customer.
Create a Top Tier Profile
It is important that your profiles are effectively promoting your personal brand. A professional photo and persuasive headline are the first steps to an effective profile. Professional photos put a friendly face to your name. A headline is just as important as a picture. It’s a little glimpse into what you do, where you do it, and why you do it. A profile is often the first point of contact for a buyer looking into your offers. A top tier profile certifies your credibility and creates an opportunity for the beginning of a real bond.
Do: Develop a personal brand through use of a professional profile picture and updated profile.
Do: Write an enticing headline, biography, or summary that gives potential customers insight into who you are and what you do.
Don’t: Use your personal accounts for social selling. Your Facebook vacation and silly profile picture should be saved for friends and family.
Don’t: Use a headline, biography, or summary to list your life’s story. Be succinct and only include important information.
Post and Share Worthy Content
Consumers are more likely to engage with social selling when a seller is providing information and knowledge with content that is relatable to them. LinkedIn sites that 62 percent of buyers respond to a seller that connects them with relevant information and opportunity. Every post is important, no matter how big or small. It should add to your consumer’s experience via your profile.
Do: Share content that is relevant to your products or to you. Stories about your company, success with clients, or other relevant information are a must share.
Don’t: Share a silly cat video that makes customers scroll past your page.
Continually Add to Your Network
Friends, followers, connections—all these are important for your personal network. Your personal network should never stagnate, meaning you should always be adding new people. But you can’t add just anyone; you should focus on the right type of contacts. Add people who are interested in what you are selling. Does their company have a need that you can fill? Are they the right person to talk to about filling that need? Your network can be far reaching and all encompassing, but for effective social selling the majority of the connections you’re making should be relevant to your product.
Do: Add people who have the potential to become loyal customers. They work within your network, have buying power within their company, or have influence with your current customers.
Don’t: Add people who work in an irrelevant market or have zero or negative influence with your current customers.
Develop a Strategy
Strategy is important for all types of selling practices, but especially for those looking to socially sell. There are a variety of strategies you should prepare before diving headfirst into your network. First, create a promotion strategy. How are you planning to continually increase your network? Paid advertising, cold calls, direct messages—what’s going to work for you? Next, develop an engagement strategy. What are you going to do when people engage with your content? Every sale is a dialogue that begins with a singular point of contact. Listen to these engagements, look at how your network is engaging with others, and respond when buyers engage with you. Last, develop a conversion strategy. How will you translate an engagement into a sale? Conversations are a great way to start building the personal relationships that will convert engagements into customers.
Do: Pre-plan an outline of your strategies. Give yourself a general direction to instantly pursue any engagements, connections, or potential customers you might encounter.
Don’t: Play only to your strategy. Be flexible. Some clients vary with their preferences on responses, engagements, and contact. Listen to what your customer needs and adapt your strategy.
Social selling is becoming increasingly popular among salespeople who understand the obsession new generations have with social media. Not only is it a great way to stay connected and build networks on personal and professional levels, but social media also opens up doors for transparency, communication, and opportunity for both buyers and sellers. As a social salesperson it is important to understand how to master your social media platforms and employ them to generate new customers.
For those of you looking to learn more about social selling, make sure you RSVP for the February event. We are partnering with our friends at SLC SEM to stage this event at Adobe. Utah AMA Members get in FREE using the promo code AMAFeb2016