because people buy from people
The key is in the ignition so strap yourself in.
We’re about to zoom you through stat after stat about social selling.
But, as the dust settles, stay firmly in your seat.
Because we’ll then take you on a journey through 9 social selling tactics that will skyrocket your performance.
Is that seatbelt fastened?
Let’s do this.
Social selling stat attack
89% of top performing sales people see social selling as an important part of their sales strategy.
7 in 10
70% of sales professionals actively use LinkedIn as part of their role, closely followed by 64% using Facebook but just 43% regularly using Twitter.
The boost given to:
- The likelihood of hitting your target if you use social media (64%) compared to if you don’t (49%).
- The sales opportunities you will typically create if you use social selling
Two-thirds of B2B companies are still relying on individual initiative rather than working to a defined social selling strategy.
Without a shred of doubt, you want some more of this action.
Let’s take you on a cruise through the social selling setting and then ramp things up with a tour of the tactics.
The social selling setting
Imagine an old-school salesperson flicking through a business directory for prospects.
Hell, collars were a lot bigger in those days and people were still smoking at their desks. And I think that’s a non-ironic, retro-referencing tank-top being worn.
The internet is that business directory supercharged with info and data and made interactive and into a communication tool.
There is no longer any division between our prospecting tools and our selling tools.
- This means that whenever we are online, we are potentially selling.
- It also means that while traditional sales tactics were mainly focused on short-term sales results, social selling aims to create and develop longer-term relationships.
Take a glance round the sales office today.
The fog has cleared: smokers take the walk of shame outside the building, collar-less t-shirts have by and large replaced more formal shirts and tank-tops, if at all, are worn with a knowing smile.
The directory and phone are playing second (third? fourth? fifth?) fiddle to digital networking and chatbots.
And the buying process has most definitely changed.
In many ways, sales teams’ roles have moved from hand-holding to handmaiden. There is no more spoon-feeding of buyers – instead sales teams must prepare delicate morsels of information and present them to match the buyer’s digestive needs.
We’ve reviewed the way that the buying and selling landscapes have changed elsewhere – and offered some ways your selling practices must change with them – but, right now, before we take you on a tactical tour, let’s quickly just glance at the new sales world order.
- 97% of buyers go online to find and research products and services.
- 47% of these will view at least 3-5 pieces of content before they even think of contacting a salesperson.
- 75% of B2B buyers use social media to make purchasing decisions. This rises to 84% for C-level and above executives.
The early stages of a longer buying process now take place independently, online and are heavily focussed on social spaces.
And, as always, you have to be in them to win them.
Let’s get you in there.
9 social selling tactics to talk about
1. Stop selling
This is not a cold call.
Ease yourself into a sale by creating a relationship – offer insight and offer help. Remember, much of online social research takes place at the early stage of the buying journey.
This is your chance to build a relationship not to try and close a deal.
2. Start serving
You are not hand holding any more.
Instead you are a facilitator – a handmaiden, perhaps.
At this stage you are earning trust. To do this you must serving before you sell. A great way to add value is to provide free information and advice – this is to say, to be useful.
Think more ‘how can I help you?’ and less ‘what can I sell you?’.
3. Ask and you will not get
As a rule of thumb make sure your posts and shares never rise above the ratio of one ‘promotional’ for ‘three’ valuable.
And, no: you cannot argue your promotional posts are valuable too.
You need to give much more than you will receive. (But your time will come.)
4. Do unto others…
Successful social sellers spread the love. Sharing others’ content and commenting on others’ posts is the best way to be shared and commented upon.
5. Be strategic
Sharing timely information helps you achieve more shares and more engagement. Content schedules keep you on track and help you maintain focus.
6. Be thorough
Do not reach out to that prospect until you have put some time into your research.
Blanket pitches smother sales and personal touches are warmly welcomed.
7. Be consistent
Absence, in this case, does not make the heart grow fonder. Regular interaction emphasises you are always there when needed, keeps you front of mind and stops you appearing like a shark that circles back only when it scents blood in the water.
8. Channel your energies
Prospects are not pigeons – so don’t pigeon hole them. Your LinkedIn contact is also on Facebook and Twitter and may be happy to chat by email or even phone.
9. Engage customers and prospects alike
Social is not just for new opportunities but offers a way to engage and retain existing customers too. Anyone who has bought from you once is likely to do again, but it’s not guaranteed.
Stack the odds in your favour using social.
The best way to social sell
The best way to sell on social is to forget that you are a salesperson and you are speaking to a prospect.
You are a person speaking to another person.
And for 27 more ways to make being human matter why not head over to the sumptuous spread we’ve laid out for you as part of our three-part series called ‘True, tried and tested’.
See you online!