Oh no, another digital buzzword you might (or not) heard of. But are you entirely sure what it actually means? It's easy to believe that social selling is pretty much the same as social media marketing or social media advertising. Well, it's not.
Social selling is a different approach that allows people in sales to better target their prospecting, establish rapport and trust through their existing networks. In plain English? It's a practice that makes it possible to ditch the dreaded cold calls.
WHAT IS SOCIAL SELLING?
Social selling is the gentle art of using social networks to find, connect, understand, and nurture sales prospects. A modern way to develop meaningful relationships with potential customers that makes you or your brand the first natural point of contact when a prospect is ready to buy.
If you have a Facebook Business Page, LinkedIn profile or even a professional Twitter account, you're already engaged in social selling. You just don't know it yet. But let's be crystal clear on one point. Social selling – it's not about bombarding strangers with private messages or tweets. That is spam. And people don't like that. And won't like you for sending them that.
Social selling is about gaining access to contacts, building relationships and being a strategic listener. It's about finding the right moment to join conversations where you present yourself or your brand as the solution to a problem.
Now that you understand what social selling is, let’s look at why doing it (really) well is so important for your business.
3 REASONS WHY YOUR BUSINESS SHOULD CARE ABOUT SOCIAL SELLING
1. Social selling builds real relationships
This might not come as a shock - but nobody (and we mean, nobody) likes cold calling. And the truth is that is not very effective. Over 90 percent of top decision-makers claim they would never respond to a cold call. Using social listening allows you or your sales teams to identify new leads by listening in on who is already talking about your business, your industry or even your competitors. And here is where the goal is wide open for Zlatan-bicycle-kicking your message in the right corner at the right time.
2. Your potential clients are already engaged in social buying
Flip the script of social selling and you have social buying. Just as you are using social listening, your clients are doing the same to find potential business partners. They do their research online and form an opinion about if you are the best fit before making a first contact. So, If you’re not actively engaged in social selling, you’re not showing up in that social purchase research, which means – lots of potential missed sales.
3. Your competitors are (probably) already using social selling
Brands in just about every industry are embracing social selling tools with open arms. For example, Microsoft boosted productivity with 38 percent by socially prospecting for leads for a new cloud computer offering. The hockey team Vancouver Canucks is using social selling to increase ticket sales.
This is the facts. 71 percent of all sales professionals and 90 percent of top salespeople are already using social selling tools. Among the younger salespeople, the numbers are even higher, with 78 percent of all millennial sales professionals using social selling tools and 63 percent saying those tools are critical or extremely critical to their sales performance.
So if you’re not allowing your sales team to use social tools, it could be more challenging for you to recruit top sales performers, especially from the millennial demographic.
We can tell you more about social selling.
And content marketing.