You might have heard of the term social selling and like many people, you might be wondering what exactly it is.
What is Social Selling
In the olden days selling involved making cold calls to people and convincing them to buy but in this digital age most buyers are online and people are not responding to cold calls anymore.
With the advent of the internet, everyone has become obsessed with getting likes and followers but very few people are working on how to turn these followers into customers.
Now imagine if you spent all your effort into turning your 100 followers to pay you $100 each for your product or service instead of focusing on getting 10 000 followers but not receiving a cent from them.
By using social selling you are creating brand awareness with your targeted audience by using social media and creating meaningful relationships with potential customers.
The term, social selling, can be deceiving since it doesn’t involve any direct selling at all. Instead of cold calling or always sending promotional emails, messages and ads, you’re using social media to find prospects, develop an understanding of their needs, habits, activities, and behaviours to establish a connection with them online.
How will you increase your sales using social selling?
With social selling, salespeople laser-target their prospects who are already in their buyers journey funnel, establish rapport and trust through existing connections and networks and guide them through their journey down the funnel to eventually convert them into a customer.
This is the modern way of utilizing social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram in order to connect with modern buyers through developing a relationship with them over a period of time and making sure your brand is the first point of reference in your customer’s mind when they are ready to make a purchase.
If you have a Facebook Business Page, LinkedIn profile, or professional Twitter account, you’re already engaged in the basics of social selling.
Social selling is not about just receiving contacts and bombarding them with messages of your product or service. That’s called spamming. The process of actually creating a lasting relationship with your potential customer is true social selling.
Some remarkable statistics
- 78% of salespeople engaged in social selling are outselling their peers who aren’t.
- 31% of B2B professionals say that social selling has allowed them to build deeper relationships with clients.
- Over 70% of all sales professionals and 90% of top salespeople are already using social selling tools.
- 92% of B2B buyers engage with sales professionals if they are thought to be industry thought leaders (LinkedIn Sales Solutions)
It is very evident from the above statistics that sales professionals that demonstrate knowledge and share insightful opinions is a great way to distinguish yourself as a trustworthy source and reach your sales targets.
Does social selling works for B2B?
As per the below table from Harvard Business review you can see that social selling is a very powerful tool not only for B2C but also for B2B.
Did you know that IBM increased its annual sales by 400%?
By using social selling, IBM drove a 400% increase in sales. In their case, the use of corporate content and corporate social accounts were used to support the sales team. Employee advocacy and collaboration across teams to find, filter and share great content is at the heart of IBM’s success.
Tips to get you started with social selling
- Identify your audience and which platforms they utilize. There’s no point in being on every single social network if your potential customer is not present on that platform.
- Build your professional brand on those networks especially LinkedIn.
- Make sure to create and curate thoughtful and engaging content. Emotional content that is relevant to your brand is a great way to engage your potential customer early in their buyer’s journey.
- Engage with your audience with meaningful insights and comments. Go beyond just selling to your prospects as this will make sure that your brand stays on top of mind and you will be their first go-to when they are ready to purchase your type of products or service.
- Share content from other industry leaders in your field as this will affirm that you are a trustworthy source.
Equally important to understand what is social selling is also the ability to measure it. Most social networks can provide useful insights and it is important for your company and your brand to continuously measure and check which aspects of social selling are working best for you and what you need to improve on.
Ready to upgrade your social selling skills? Join us for a 2-day course in Digital and Social Selling. For more details on this course click HERE.