22% of the time spent on the Internet is on social media sites
56% of people feel a stronger connection with companies who engage on social media
85% think companies should interact on social media
With stats like these it’s hard to ignore social media. Anyone who isn’t considering social as part of his or her selling strategy must be living under a rock. According to the Social Media and Sales Quote report from Social Centered Selling, 78.6% of sellers using social selling outperformed those who didn’t. Social sellers were 23% more successful in terms of meeting and exceeding quota.
Think about this, out there right now are buyers who want what you’re selling. They have the budget, the authority, the need, and the timeframe for purchase. This buyer would buy from you now if you could get in front of him.
I know what you are saying; it isn’t easy getting in front of that ideal buyer. Usually I would agree, traditionally it has been anything but easy. Fortunately, in our socially connected world, this has become simpler than ever before.
This buyer has a social footprint that you can easily see. Take Kevin, an operations manager at a medical devices company. By checking out Kevin’s Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Facebook profiles you can easily see topics he’s interested in, articles he’s liked, comments he’s made, groups he’s joined, and his tweets and re-tweets. This provides a clearer picture into what Kevin is most focused on.
Combining this social intelligence with the contact record in Salesforce makes a powerful packet of information. When you reach out to the prospect for the first time, it will obviously be a more successful conversation knowing the business issues he or she face and are concerned about.
The next step is to leverage engagement opportunities. Take advantage of the ability to communicate and interact with your prospects in real-time. Comment on and interact with their content. Be authentic; don’t flood their social channels with promotions. Form and share an opinion with content they’ve shared. If you establish yourself as knowledgeable in the area they are most interested in, you are more likely to start the conversation with the engaged prospect.
Here are some tips to get you started:
Fish where there are fish
Before you dive into social sales, find out which networks your clients and prospects are on. Identify which channels drive the highest amount of activity from your prospects. You might have an incredible Twitter presence but if your prospects are all on Google+ then you won’t catch any fish.
Build your profile
You know where you need to be. Now you need to create your brand. Your goal is to become a trusted advisor. Write your bio with that in mind. Create a complete and compelling profile. Now reach out to your peers, clients, coworkers, and friends to help you raise your social status.
Don’t just post the stock content that your marketing department creates. Provide your unique point of view using your own voice when commenting on articles or blog posts. Engage in the conversation.
Keep an ear to the ground
A fundamental element to sales has always been to listen to what your prospects are saying. This holds true in the social era, and now it’s even easier. Pick a few active groups and check in regularly. Identify relevant Hashtags and get up-to-the-minute info.
Hang with the in-crowd
Who are the people that are driving the conversations on topics that interest your prospects? Follow these influencers, like their comments, re-tweet their tweets – don’t bombard them, but get their attention.
It’s time to look more closely at social selling. Use the tools that are now available to make your job easier. The truth is your competition is leveraging social media to drive success. Don’t sit back and let them get in front of your buyer. Embrace social selling.