Like it or not, we’re all in sales now.
Whether you’re a full-time sales person or a “non-sales seller”, as Daniel Pink says: “we’re all in sales now.”
Simultaneously, we are also all getting onto social networks in droves. The problem is, traditional selling methods and tactics don’t work well in the new, virtual spaces where we are conducting many of our business relationships.
Social selling is a set of adaptive behaviors that can help us “sell” our products and our services – even ourselves – in online social networks without coming across as pushy or “salesy”.
Here are six ways you can succeed at social selling:
1. Connect with your clients.
This is the most important group to connect with in social networks precisely because they are already your clients. They have already placed their trust in you and people like recommending who they do business with because it validates their original decision. Plus, if you’re not engaging your clients online, who is? Social selling is about deepening client engagement.
2. Connect with your respected peers and centres of influence.
Most businesses operate in an ecosystem of other businesses and influencers. Aligning yourself with the most highly respected peers in your space increases your visibility and profile. Social selling is about building a community around your business.
3. Connect with high-value prospects.
You should be connected with every one of your high-value prospects on LinkedIn. You should connect with those that are also on Twitter or other social networks as well. That way, you can get to know them and see what they are interested in and they can be notified when you share something of interest. Social selling is about building relationships first.
4. Share valuable content regularly.
If you are connected to your high-value relationships in social networks, then sharing great content becomes a way to add value and stay top of mind. Curate and “aggressively” share great articles on LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+. Tune into the data and take note of what your audiences are interested in reading, clicking and sharing. Social selling is about sharing and adding value.
5. Pay attention to your clients, peers and prospects.
Social networks facilitate conversations and conversation are always two-sided. You know how great it feels when someone likes, shares or comments on your content? Well, give that feeling to your network. You get as much or more from your network when you pay attention to them as you get from desperately trying to get them to pay attention to you. Social selling is about giving in order to get.
6. Publish your subject matter knowledge widely.
There are many, many places to share your knowledge and you should be using as many platforms as possible. Publish to your blog. Publish variations on these articles to Linkedin. Do you have a good slide deck? Then, publish it to Slideshare. Your PDF white papers will also work well on Slideshare. Social selling is about sharing what you know in order to help people move through the sales funnel.
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