Social Selling- you’ve heard about it. But you’re wondering, ‘Why on earth should I try selling my product on platforms that literally just have teenagers dancing to dubbed music?’
It’s time to answer that question.
For starters, social media is evolving. It’s no longer just a place for people to waste their time and talk to their friends. People are looking for real value there. With the rise of influencers like Gary Vee, people are looking to learn something new. The content that gets the best results on today’s social platforms is content that educates the audience (while entertaining them).
People are even conducting research on social media now. If they want to know how to solve a problem, they’re looking for a solution on social media. So, it would be a real shame if you weren’t there, with the answer to their problems.
Okay, so I can sell on social media, but how?
Well, social selling is not all that hard. Social media is a powerful tool both for lead generation and for sales. All it takes is a little effort and some good insights.
Step 1: Establish Yourself As An Expert
You don’t need to be a celebrity to leverage social media for sales. But, you can’t rake up a phenomenal amount of sales if you’re completely unknown.
You need to position yourself as an authority on the problem your customers are dealing with. It boils down to value. Give them content that they can benefit from. Forrester research shows that 62% of buyers can develop selection criteria and finalize vendors lists based solely on digital content.
Get them to trust your opinion. Once that happens, they’ll feel much better about purchasing a solution that you offer.
Step 2: Engage
While putting out content is good, that’s not the only thing you need to do. You can’t just sit back, expecting people to find your content and make a purchase immediately.
You need to engage with other users. Comment on other people’s posts and reply to those who comment on yours. You’re looking to build relationships over here.
It’s important to come off as someone authentic, not as some sort of scammer. So when you engage with people, talk about them, not just about what you’re selling. Let them know that you relate to them and then offer them your product as a solution.
Step 3: Reach Out
Identify potential leads and reach out to them. But please, don’t make it sound like a cold call. If all you do is send connection requests on LinkedIn and directly pitch your product, you may not get results that justify the energy you’re spending.
Once again, you need to establish a relationship. Talk to your leads about the issues they face in their industry and show them that you relate to them. Empathize with them. Now, offer them your solution in a way that sounds like you’re actually trying to help them. That approach works much better than coming off as the guy who’s just trying to boost his commissions.
Psychology backs this up. Why do we hate cold calls? Because the caller is just talking about themselves- ‘Their company, their product, their features…why should I care?’.
Everyone has a common favorite topic of discussion- themselves. Get a lead to talk about themselves instead of running in, guns blazing, talking about how amazing your product is. Do that, and you’ve got your foot in the door.
Nice, but how do I know if I’m doing it wrong?
Good question. Here’re a few mistakes that most salespeople make while testing the waters of social selling.
Just A Cursory Glance
If you think your prospect’s social profile isn’t important and their designation tells you all you need to know to make a sale, you’re missing out. Going through your lead’s profile could give you selling points that you could not have simply imagined on your own. Put the social back into social selling. Learn more about your prospect and find a way to use that knowledge as a selling point.
Focusing On The Numbers
Concentrating your efforts solely on sending out as many messages or connection requests as possible is not a good idea. While it sounds good on paper, it usually means you’re just spraying and praying.
Get strategic. Pick out leads which you think you have a higher chance of converting. Now focus on developing relationships with them.
Sharing Only Promotional Content
Sharing only promotional content, makes you look like the guy who’s simply trying to rake up higher commissions. Why would anyone engage with you if you only care about selling your product?
You need to have a good mix of informative, value providing content, and your company’s promotional content. It’s important that your profile has a helpful vibe to it.
Send the exact same message to every one of your leads and you’re shooting yourself in the foot. You need to personalize your messages. And go beyond just adding their names. While that’s a good way to get them to start reading, if that’s your only personalization, it’ll be obvious soon enough.
Going back to our point about going through the lead’s profile, you need to frame your message for the reader. Make it look like you’re trying to help them individually.
If it’s too hard to scale this and you’re pressed for resources, at least try framing a few templates for different kinds of leads that you can edit according to the individual lead instead of having to come up with something completely new.
At the end of the day, you need to frame your messages to look like you’re personally reaching out to someone to solve their problem, not just to sell something.
Social selling has been around for a while. But now you’re equipped to go about it the right way. It’s time to set yourself apart. Don’t be like other salespeople who’re making it obvious that they just care about making a sale. Focus on building relationships.
You need to find leads worth building relationships with. But you don’t need to waste your time on the lead generation process. Let LeadMi focus on generating leads for you, while you concentrate on building and nurturing relationships with those leads.