Social Selling: The New Sales Talk
Admit it: When you were starting your business, you’ve probably tried out all the marketing strategies in the book. To boost your company’s LinkedIn profile, you might have stumbled upon countless articles with tips and tricks to help you out. Yet, as we all know, there’s no single fool-proof way to generate clients and up your conversation rates.
Imagine if you didn’t have to adjust your strategy every quarter, and there was a consistently useful way to gather those leads.
And so, it’s no wonder social selling became popular for marketers since it grew on LinkedIn. Simply put, social selling today is going beyond traditional sales talk. As we move to a more digital commerce world, social selling proves again and again that it is as effective, if not more, than its predecessor.
Social selling is relationship building
A quick definition of social selling describes it as using social media platforms to connect with leads and prospects. With B2B marketing, it’s mostly the practice of building relationships with the right social networks to achieve your business goals. It’s proven to be more effective compared to cold calling, because of the customer or investor trust that you establish from day one.
If you’re doing it online, the best platform to work on social selling is LinkedIn, as it’s easier to connect and engage with your LinkedIn network. Additionally, there’s no other platform that achieves the lead generation success that LinkedIn does.
Introducing the four pillars
The key to effective social selling lies in four essential aspects, more known as the four pillars of social selling. If you play these right, you’re guaranteed to achieve your social selling LinkedIn goals.
First: Project a professional brand
Trust and authenticity play a crucial role in today’s day-to-day business. If you’re able to successfully put out a professional brand image on your LinkedIn profile, you’re showing your customers that you’re an active business. The more consistent you are, the more inquiries, leads, and connections you’ll get.
Second: Filter out your prospects
Compared to traditional sales, social selling lets you connect to leads outside your LinkedIn network. While you might be getting more prospects than you usually would, it isn’t a wise decision to reach out to all of them. Before sending out your pitch, establish a criteria, such as industry and role, to make sure you’re tapping the right market.
Third: Engage continuously
You can never go wrong with engaging with your LinkedIn network. Aside from proving that you’re knowledgeable in your industry, engaging is a vital arm of B2B marketing because over 62% of B2B buyers respond to business leaders that connect with insights and opportunities.
Fourth: Have genuine conversations
Because consumers support brands that they can trust, it’s best always to put connections and relationships first. No one appreciates a marketer who pitches right off the bat. Instead, show your prospects that you are genuinely interested in your conversation.
By the numbers
Another thing that gives social selling an edge is that it’s measurable by numbers. LinkedIn pioneered this measurement, called The Social Selling Index (SSI), which is scored on a scale of 0 to 100. With a higher SSI, you’re more likely to get 45% more sales opportunities and lead generation. The tool is offered by LinkedIn in-app, so you wouldn’t have to worry about sourcing out new software.
The success drivers
Your social selling success is driven by three elements, which can drastically affect the quality of leads you’ll get and your SSI score.
Element 1: A strong professional LinkedIn profile
Decision-makers take one look at your profile before judging whether your business is worth pursuing. The image that your LinkedIn profile communicates from the first look – whether that’s competent and trustworthy, or outdated and unprofessional – will dictate how people will connect with you.
When building your page, there are three things that you shouldn’t miss out on: build credibility, focus on solutions, and engage consistently.
Element 2: Ditch the templates and canned responses
The support for small and medium-sized business is growing overwhelmingly, and for one reason: They’re personalizing the way they engage with their customers. As larger companies tend to copy-paste due to the volume of messages, connecting on a personal level will entice your LinkedIn network to work with you. Your prospects can smell robot messages from a mile away, and they wouldn’t even give your message a second look.
Element 3: Content is king
To effectively build trust among your LinkedIn network, put out quality content that shows your expertise on your topic or industry. Whether it’s original content or curated content, everything you put out must have credible, value-adding information. Successful content will not only attract and engage your target market, but it’s also an excellent way to boost trust among your connections.
Moving it offline
Building a relationship with your prospects doesn’t end on LinkedIn. And since social selling is all about lead generation through connecting, converting a lead to a client will take place outside social media.
If you’ve built your trust with your leads, it’s time to meet in person so you can learn more about them and their needs. Once you’ve established that bit, you can start to present the right solutions in your pitch.
Social selling may seem overwhelming, but taking the time and effort to build your social selling strategy can do wonders for your LinkedIn lead generation. Focus on one thing at a time, and do it well. Soon enough, you’ll be able to generate a regular quota of prospects in a shorter amount of time.
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