The Tool the Rest of the World Is Using to Win Customers

Written by: Richard Doyle

In many subjects, we in North America are very myopic. We see ourselves as being on the leading edge of various technologies. And while it may be true that we are on the leading edge sometimes, our ability to lead by adopting new approaches is often lacking.

Social selling is a great example of this. While many social sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook were founded in North America and are wonderful social opportunities for business, we can learn a great deal from how Europe and the rest of the world have adopted these sites for business gain.

In sales, we understand that cold calling: knocking on the door of a physical office and emailing is becoming an extremely difficult task in order to reach your potential customer. Call if we must, but I don’t answer my phone and just dump the voice mail. Email is becoming annoying and it is easy for me to block the emailing spammers today. Just try and get past my gatekeeper at the reception desk in my office.

So how can we navigate in the new world to get access to our desired customer?

The answer is social selling. I mentioned earlier that Europe and the rest of the world adopt technology quicker than we do when it comes to business. While we continue to jam our sales people with time consuming CRM (the products that are supposed to improve productivity) the rest of the world is using an easy and effective business tool to beat us to our customers.

Social selling is not a fad, it is an effective and productive way to use our time and drive sales. Today decision making is already 57% complete before we even find out that the opportunity exists. Why? Because companies are doing their research on line before they contact us. Today 75% of buyers now use social media to research vendors.

Related: How to Use Your 200 Sales Days a Year Wisely

If we want to be great at social selling here are a few quick tips:

  • Develop a personal profile that tells people who you are, not what you sell.
  • Write articles and posts to help people understand that you are the expert and knowledgeable in your area, so that they see you as an advisor, not just a sales person.
  • Grow your social network by identifying potential customers and connect with them to establish a relationship. Find commonalities between you and them and start there. Think of this as our networking event. You don’t start by selling, you create a relationship first.
  • There is much more that can be done to support our selling efforts, but if we chose not to adopt the new way of doing business, the rest of the world will continue to pass us by.