Social Selling has become the buzz word for business owners and sales professionals. Yet, when you look online there are so many people still adopting pushy, aggressive, or plain stupid strategies to sell their business’ products and services.
In my courses, I warn that the eagerness to sell must held in check. If you lose your mind you annoy people or look like your desperate. Nobody buys from a desperate salesperson.
So, what are some of the best practices for social selling? Here are some of my tips.
You need to focus on giving value to your target audience. Nobody will ever show interest if they think they are going to get a heavy pitch or pushy pitch. So, give value regularly. Value creates trust, rapport, and credibility, all of which are essentials for selling.
That doesn’t mean you don’t talk about your service, but your goal is to establish trust and build relationships, you can’t do that if you are just trying to get people to buy. You need to give value so that people know you can help them solve their challenges and problems.
Social selling isn’t about informality or formality. It isn’t about having a more casual writing style either. It is about relationships. Pay attention to what your prospects are doing, engage with them and respond to questions and posts where you can add to the discussion. You want to be their go-to person and that means investing time in building those relationships.
I spent nearly 3 years building relationships with one prospect on LinkedIn. Earlier this year they came onboard as a client without any direct pitch or attempt to pitch them. I’m playing the relationship game at scale for the long term. It keeps my pipeline full and a regular stream of clients. Some people can convert in days and some years, relationships are the key to social selling.
The nay-sayers say social selling does work. They say you need to be direct if people don’t buy, then move on. What a pile of crap that is. If you want to sell using social selling strategies, you must show up regularly. Fly-by night won’t work. You need to be consistently turning up to do the work needed to build the relationships, give value, and establish a reputation as a credible person with your prospects. With some prospects that may take weeks, days, or months.
When I am teaching people about social selling, I remind them that the strategy you start with will evolve and improve, so it is important to be consistent so you can see how you can improve and what works and what doesn’t. Most who fail at social selling are either not consistent or not learning from the efforts they make. So, show up and be consistent in your approach.
I’ve generated a lot of business through people who we irrelevant to me. They weren’t my target or didn’t have the right authority, yet, somehow those people helped me win business. Sometimes we can be so focused on our target client we dismiss others. Those we dismiss or ignore could be influencers with people that we want to talk to. There is a trend online these days to be a bit of a diva. It’s seen as cool to ‘call people out’ or be rude to people. I make it a policy not to do business with divas and many other people don’t think it is cool or smart to be rude or unpleasant to people
Like I shared earlier, social selling doesn’t mean you don’t talk about your products and services. One of the most powerful strategies you can deploy in your social selling is content that signals intent. When your posting online, sending an email or a writing as blog, you need to build intent signals into the copy. In other words, how does your post, email or blog help you understand who is interested in your product or service.
Does the subject line, title, or main point signal that those who respond are interested in what you are wanting to sell?
Here is an example, which one of these shows more intent…
“How to increase your e-commerce conversions by 20%”
“How to fix your falling e-commerce sales”
Lots of people would want to grow their e-commerce sales, but only those who are concerned about their falling sales or the current level of sales would show interest in the second article.
The overall content of that blog may well be the same, but the way the content is written can help you identify the need and intent to fix an issue.
Social Selling is one of the most straightforward ways to sell, in fact it is the most human way to sell.
When we lose focus, we forget we are selling to human beings, we forget the power of relationships and how influential they are in the sales process.
Social selling is simple, if you understand your product and want to help your customers, anyone can do it.