Connect then sell: The Secret to Successful Social Selling
Marketing today isn’t much on discounts and cold calling anymore. In the digital age, it’s all about social selling.
When business leaders saw the money-making potential in social selling, many were quick to inject it into their content marketing strategies. But effective as it is, there’s a risk of ruining your brand image if you don’t have a deep understanding of what social selling is.
Indeed, social selling is a popular term today, but only a handful of people can execute it the right way. Sales teams spend hours working on lead generation, filtering their spreadsheets, and getting in touch with prospects in an attempt to sell. If you want to be successful in social selling, this isn’t the way to go.
Primarily, social selling should be “connect, then sell.” It includes taking the time to learn your audience before trying to present them a solution.
Why explore social selling?
Authenticity and transparency are valued more today than they were fifty years ago. People care less for advertisements and more for brand values. Customers are more likely to do business with a company that they trust, and loyalty comes a long way when you’re building your network.
Social selling removes the need for a hard-sell that’s scripted and commonly ignored by most. Consumers easily brush off advertisements as false and misleading, and without a strong relationship, your next paid ad campaign will be as good as nothing.
How should you get started on your social selling strategy? We laid down a few tips and tricks to help you out.
Always consider your goal
Before anything else, list down your targets and goals for social selling, then work backward from there.
It could be anything – from a meeting to merely engaging with your market. Similar to your content marketing strategy, your social selling efforts should reflect your ultimate goal.
Your target audience isn’t everyone in your network
Once you figure out your target, it’s time to identify the people you want to send the message to. As a general rule, your audience shouldn’t be everyone in your LinkedIn connections. You can filter out your competitor’s customers or people who regularly talk about the category of your product.
When it comes to identifying your market, the group must be broad enough to catch a good number of leads.
Filter out your audience
After you’ve gathered your audience, it’s time to double-check if they would be fit for your strategy. In the digital world, where almost every information about a person is readily available, this is relatively easy, especially if they’re one of your LinkedIn connections. Take advantage of their social profiles to target specific people for your campaign.
Time to dig deeper
What many marketers do wrong is they send out messages without first getting to know their prospects. But if you want your social selling tactic to work, check their profiles for relevant information like their interests, interactions, and hashtags. This step will prepare you for the conversation you’re about to have with your potential clients. If you can start with a topic that they can relate to, you’re one step closer to converting them into customers.
Personalizing your messages will show your customers that you aren’t simply connecting to make a sale. It reflects your genuine curiosity in them and what they do.
It helps to rank your targets
With the number of leads you have lined up, it can be pretty overwhelming. The most common cause of delay is when salespersons don’t know where to begin.
Work around this by scoring your prospects based on their relevance. You can use their demographic and behavioral attributes as a reference, which is based on information that is publicly available from their social profiles and interactions.
Be genuinely interested
The whole point of social selling is to connect with real people. And as such, copy-pasted templates and replies won’t do the trick for you. When you’re connecting with your leads, think of it as getting to know a new friend. Show interest in what they do and what they like, and share your insights as you would with any other acquaintance.
In the world of social selling, developing relationships always comes first.
Insert your sales pitch and analyze results
After lead generation, your established relationship is now the most helpful tool that will convert them into customers.
The goal of social selling is to find another strategy to drive sales. New leads can be kept in your roster for future releases, but before you must first analyze your revenue and results. Check which sales pitch is most effective and which leads are most interested in your product. This way, you’ll have a tangible basis for your next social efforts.
It’s all about building relationships
With its growing popularity, there’s no denying that social selling is indeed an excellent way to convert your leads. While there are countless online resources on tips and tricks, your success will depend on how much you want to get to know your prospects and provide value. If you don’t prioritize genuine connections, your strategy is bound to fail, no matter how precise you follow every step.
Another thing to consider when stepping into social selling is that there are no short-cuts. You must be prepared to invest time and energy into getting in touch with your connections and engaging in conversation. As with fostering any business partnership, once you learn to embrace the process, you’ll see a massive difference in your sales and conversions.