Ever since I started my career, I have been an advocate of social. Either social media, social selling, social gatherings or social news. I truly believe in the power of social. But what does it mean exactly and how does it make a difference in the way you sell or communicate?
When I first started as a social media consultant, SOCIAL was still a mystery term, a wave of change, the next buzz word on our lips. I remember that most of my customers were asking to setup a Facebook page and start building a following, but that was the extent of their social efforts. Customers were not yet requesting engagement or paid advertising. Pretty quickly (and nobody could predict how quickly) that evolved and online platforms became an even more important part of a marketing strategy and advertising budget. We now rely heavily on social for our networking needs.
I learned, like every other successful consultant how to adapt, change my offer and continue to add value to my customer portfolios. Social somehow remained in the hands of the marketer, while on the other side, more and more sales professional started going online, building themselves a profile and using social media to prospect. But at the end of the day, we all want the same thing:
Drive more business and make our customers happy!
I believe the social in sales is what will make us all work together. As a consultant, I didn’t realise that I was using social to sell my services and find my next contracts as it seemed like a natural thing to do. And it was, as I was simply selling my services online through social connections and my network instead of just broadcasting and pitching, while hoping for the best.
So if you are new to social selling, here are my top 3 reasons why you should consider this strategy:
- Always stay top of mind
The social in selling represents a whole new network of potential prospects. Of course, you will continue to meet them offline, but you can now connect with them instantly and maintain the relationship online. Social media platforms and social selling helps you combat the ”Out of sight, out of mind” phenomenon. You can always be in sight with the latest piece of content that you shared with your network or a smart comment in your group where your next potential prospect may be to seeking information.
- Direct touch to decision makers
Another reason for social selling is the difficulty to reach a business owner through coldcalling. A LinkedIn report stated that 90% of decision makers will not answer a cold call. This same difficulty was stated in my colleague, Dave Auten’s blog post. The business world is changing and it might be easier to reach a C-suite execs through an InMail on LinkedIn that he will receive directly on his smartphone.
- The more people you know, the better
More and more companies are delegating major investments and big purchase decisions to a committee. Expanding your social network and building a strong profile will help you interact and connect with as many people as possible — who knows what committees your new contacts are on. As well, a referral can come from anyone in a company, so the more people you know, the better for you.
Social media selling may pose some risk, but sitting on the sidelines and not getting involved is the greatest risk of all.
So, if you are a sales professional, be social! If you are a marketer, be social! Regardless what industry you work in, remember that you are always selling yourself and being social can help you make the right connections to reach your goals faster.
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