Are you searching for an effective tactic to sell more of your products or services? A great way to get more leads and boost sales is through social selling. This is a new twist on traditional sales that businesses are now using to grow their sales figures, and you can too.
How do you succeed at social selling?
Social selling requires a slightly different approach than social media marketing.
There are 5 key sales tactics you should remember.
- Study Your Audience
- Don’t Promote
- Study Your Competition
- Focus on Serving
- Track Your Progress
More about the 5 key tactics later in the article.
Social selling is all about building relationships. It may sound a bit like social media marketing or social advertising, but it’s quite different. There are some similarities, but even more importantly, there are a few key differences.
Let’s get started.
What is Social Selling?
Social selling is a tactic that involves focusing on your best prospects and using social media to engage them through one-on-one conversations. By building rapport, listening well, and helping prospects with problems they’re facing, you can lead them to buy your products or services.
Social Selling is NOT the same as Social Media Marketing. It’s much more targeted at attracting the ideal prospect who will want to have a one-on-one conversation with you.
Have you ever tried cold calling? This is where you call prospects out of the blue and engage them in a conversation where you try to lead them to a sale. This strategy can have mixed results, since many times people aren’t the right fit for your product or service, don’t know or trust you, or aren’t ready to buy just then.
Social selling is more highly targeted, meaning that you can make sure you’re choosing the right prospect first so it’s not “cold.” It’s also much easier, as you can carry out the sales conversation through a platform’s chat function.
The point is that you’re leveraging social media to build relationships and engage. Then, when prospects are ready for the products and services you offer, they’ll naturally come to you.
Social Selling vs. Social Media Marketing
It may sound a bit like social media marketing or social advertising, but it’s quite different. There are some similarities, but even more importantly, there are a few key differences.
The biggest difference is that with social selling, you’re cultivating a one-on-one personal relationship, whereas social media marketing broadcasts your message to your whole audience at once.
With social selling, the approach is to provide helpful information, connect with customers in a natural and organic way, and build trust first. All of this sets the stage for the conversation with the prospect.
Throughout the process, there’s no promotion. You’re just there to help and build a relationship using your expertise.
Social selling isn’t meant to be a substitute for other types of marketing. You can combine it with social media marketing to get even better results.
Why You Should Add Social Selling to Your Other Sales Tactics
Social selling has a major advantage over traditional forms of marketing because of the personal touch.
People today often get the feeling they’re being “marketed to.” Many companies’ marketing feels impersonal. With these direct one-on-one conversations, you can break through the noise and make an authentic connection.
Here are the other major benefits.
- Increased Brand Visibility. Social selling can increase your brand visibility and authority. You’re sharing content that’s tailored just for your audience, and this gets seen far and wide. Through the conversations you have with prospects, you brand yourself as a helpful expert.
- High-Quality Leads. Social selling gets you high-quality leads. Before you start interacting with prospects, you’ll create a detailed ideal prospect profile and use social media to find just the right people. By the time you start interacting with them, you’ve already qualified them as someone who’s likely to buy your products and services.
- Long-Term Buyers. The connections you form through social selling will keep paying you long-term. The trust you build will lead to even more engagement with your customers. They’ll become loyal brand advocates for life.
- Outsell the Competition. Finally, social selling allows you to outsell the competition. While they’re blasting out their marketing message and waiting for people to engage with them, you’re getting out there and finding your prospects. While they’re stuck in the impersonal strategies of yesterday, you’re creating a real and long-lasting connection.
The Importance of Building Your Personal Brand
How do you get started with social selling? The first step is to build a strong personal brand.
Your personal brand is different from the branding you did for your business. This is a brand just for you that tells people clearly the unique value you offer.
Before you start connecting with people, you need to first determine how you want them to see you. This includes identifying your areas of expertise and how you stand out amongst your competitors.
You can do this by projecting a consistent voice, personality, and presence on social media. The best practice is to do this through each platform your audience uses. Everywhere they see you, they’ll get the same impression.
A strong personal brand will also help the right prospects connect with you. As they look at content in your niche, they’ll find yours and start following you.
What is Social Listening and How Does it Help?
Social selling is about leveraging social media platforms to learn about your audience and engage with them. One of the key ways you learn about your prospects is through social listening.
Social listening involves using software tools to find out what your customers are talking about and sharing online. It gives you insights into their problems and concerns. You can gain data and find opportunities where you can create a conversation.
You can also learn a wide range of other things, like industry trends and insights into your brand and reputation, so that you know if you’re doing it right.
If you need help building a targeted and qualified list of your ideal prospects on LinkedIn, you can always hire a LinkedIn Lead Generation Agency to do the work for you.
The Right Content to Get People Talking
A key component of any social selling strategy is to create or share the right content. This content is aimed at helping people, just like all material that’s shared in marketing. But even more, it should get them talking.
What kind of posts gets people talking? It must be something relevant, interesting, and engaging. You can find out what your audience is interested in through social listening and then share something related.
You can also get people talking by starting the conversation for them. For example, share an image or quote and ask people what they think about it.
Post a tip that helps you with a problem you share with your audience and ask them to contribute their own. Any content that asks a question can be great for starting conversations.
Which content works best to draw people into conversation depends on your market and your audience. You can start with some ideas and then monitor the response to find which topics and types of content work best.
Top 5 Key Social Selling Tactics for Success
How do you succeed at social selling? It requires a slightly different approach. Here are the 5 key sales tactics to help you succeed with social selling.
1. Study Your Audience
Because you’re making a personal connection with members of your audience, you really need to lay the groundwork and make a highly targeted ideal prospect profile. Identify exactly who your buyer is, and then you can start finding and connecting with them.
2. Don’t Promote
In your discussions with prospects, don’t promote. The last thing you want is for them to feel that you’re selling to them. You’re there to provide help and build a relationship. Focus on relationship-building and save the sales for later. They’ll buy from you when they’re ready.
3. Study Your Competition
In addition to using social listening to learn about your prospects, you should also use it to study the competition. Find out how your audience members feel about similar brands. This will give you insights into their tastes, help you with engagement ideas, and show you gaps you can fill.
4. Focus on Serving
How do you build real relationships with your prospects? You do it by helping them with no strings attached. Focus on serving and giving more than you receive, and you’re guaranteed to offer value through your one-on-one conversations.
5. Track Your Progress
Identify a metric that shows your progress toward your goal and monitor it. This is the only way you can be sure that your social selling is working. If it’s not, you can figure out where to make changes and streamline.
Getting Started with Social Selling
Are you ready to get started crafting your social selling strategy? These 5 Key Social Selling Sales Tactics are a good first step to identifying a goal you’d like to achieve through implementing this new sales technique.
Here are links to a few resources that I believe will help you:
Social Selling Playbook:
37 Tips for Social Selling on Linkedin (free download)
10 Expert Social Selling Tips:
LinkedIn Lead Generation Agency