It’s no secret the sales cycle is changing, and changing fast. Social Selling is a contributing factor.
The sales process is moving from in-person sales to digital sales. Digital purchasing is well developed in the consumer market. The B2B market is taking a bit longer to catch up. The B2B Sales Professional will also need to change.
One reason for the lack of transition could be mixing business and personal digital presence. Unfortunately, this change has more relevance as selling occurs online.
Another reason could be the complexity of social media and digital marketing. This should not scare Sales Professionals. Marketers have done a great job at surrounding Digital Marketing with complex jargon.
Today, we are going to look at what social selling is and how you can use it to prospect for new business.
What Is Social Selling?
Social selling is taking what you already do as a sales professional, sell, and move it online. Using social media platforms.
Selling has always been about communicating, being social, and personable.
Now, there’s a new medium. To put it simply, social selling is finding your potential customers on social media. Learning, connecting and presenting your company.
Unfortunately, Digital Marketers surround all aspects of social selling and digital marketing with jargon. This is good for job security. Though, for future Sales success, we need to decrypt the language.
Using social selling to improve our sales process.
Manage Your Digital Presence
As social media becomes integrated in the sales cycle and online research, a digital presence becomes a personal brand.
Information is public to employers, customers, and friends, so managing it can help create a personal brand.
It can be used to become an expert in your field, and no matter your business. Management of your digital presence is essential. And, it can be used to effectively generate prospects.
Where Are Your Customers?
The most important step in starting social selling is determining what platforms your customer’s use.
Before social media, if you were selling a medical device to a surgeon, you would not go to a coffee shop and expect to find them. You would make your way to the hospital. Where their office is.
The same concept applies to social media. Typically, a physician is not going to be doing product research on Pinterest. More likely they will be in a discussion forum on LinkedIn.
Thus, LinkedIn is the platform of choice.
Once you have determined your customer’s location, it’s time to engage. This does not mean posting about your product.
Rather, engagement is joining conversations about trends in your industry. When you sit down for a sales call you don’t immediately pull out your product, say features and benefits, then expect to close the sale.
You need to build rapport, discover needs, then provide a solution. This is the process that, as a sales professional, we do every day. This is our skill set.
So, choose your social platforms and join the conversation. This will help build credibility and begin the sales cycle.
Social Selling is not about the hard close. Rather, it is integrating with the modern Buyers Journey.
Good luck and good selling!