Social Selling is a buzzword. I get the feeling, marketing fuels a lot of the discussion. Possibly sales professionals too. Social Selling is about cold calling strategy.
Why is there buzz around Social Selling?
When we look at social selling, we’re looking at how cold calling and prospecting is evolving. It is evolving to make this process more efficient.
The result when you’re in the field, you are in front of qualified prospects. This is how the role of the sales professional is changing.
The Old Cold Calling Strategy
Only a few years ago, my old cold calling strategy was to use the shotgun approach. I’m talking spray and pray. I would send mailers, fax blasts, drop off literature, call any phone numbers I had to get a name. Then, I would narrow my list down and target many individuals to try and get in front of them.
Why this strategy is working less and less is because potential buyers no longer need to listen to Sales Professionals. Sales Professionals aren’t the source of new industry information. All prospects need to do is Google their interest, and they get the most updated information.
Understanding this, Sales Professionals can now discuss different ways to get our message in front of our potential buyers. Also, we can determine how we are going to get in front of our potential buyers.
Why Is This Concept Important?
Potential buyers will ignore the Sales Professional until they are ready to buy. The potential buyer will not look at mailers. They will delete your voicemails. And they are ignoring your emails.
The result is needing to find a new way to get in front of potential buyers. Enter Social Selling. Or, more accurately, Social Cold Calling.
What does Social Cold Calling actually look like?
Social Cold Calling is utilizing social media outlets, email lists, as well as internet message boards, to get to your potential buyers. With the gatekeepers getting better, you need to determine how to avoid the gatekeeper.
Ask yourself where are my potential customers? How do I get to them?
First, you need to determine where people in your industry get information.
Next, you can get to them through a secretary, a colleague you know, or directly. The goal is to gain an introduction, and use social media and internet searches to do this.
Where Do You Begin
To use the Social Cold Calling technique, the best place to start is LinkedIn. Using LinkedIn you can search for your specific contact, the company your contact works for, and determine if your potential buyer has any similar connections.
The next place to search is places like Twitter. Also, industry job boards to see if potential buyers in your area are active in an online community. Using these techniques will separate you from the competition. They are far more cost effective methods for a cold calling strategy.
Social Cold Calling is going to become a larger part of the sales cycle. Especially as more people move online. No longer is Social Media a place to see what your friends did this past weekend.
It is becoming another avenue for selling.
Good luck and good selling!