Social selling is the business-to-business (B2B) company's use of social media platforms, such as LinkedIn to develop relationships with customers. Salespeople are using social networks to learn key information about their prospects before ever setting foot in the door, stay on top of buying trends, engage with influencers who can provide valuable insight, and more.
Currently, social selling is the biggest buzzword in B2B lead generation and one of the most important skills sales professionals need to master.
Social selling means interacting on LinkedIn with individual target accounts (not just broadcasting messages and calls to action). It's about sharing interesting articles and thought leadership pieces that provide value; Diving into groups and joining the conversations that matter most to your prospects; Posting status updates about your industry, campaign results, or company news.
Social selling is mostly relationship building and helping people find answers and insight they can't get anywhere else. With social media marketing gaining popularity at a rapid rate, it's evolving from a platform solely for online relationships to one that helps you develop relationships with your markets, customers, and influencers.
Social selling is not about spamming people or manipulating them into buying your products. It's about helping, building relationships, and adding value to people's lives by sharing interesting stuff. Once you make a valuable connection it will be easy for you to schedule meetings - because people will be happy to see you.
Social selling is a process, not an event. Sales reps need to build rapport and demonstrate credibility with the influencers who can provide insight and referrals. If people see you as credible they will eventually open up about what they're working on; what problems they may be having; and might even refer you to their networks if your product is relevant.
Sales reps need to build rapport and demonstrate credibility with the influencers who can provide insight and referrals. If people see you as credible they will eventually open up about what they're working on; what problems they may be having; and might even refer you to their networks if your product is relevant. Your prospects' and clients' information and buying preferences change rapidly and so should your social-selling strategies. You need to adapt your strategies to current changes: be more visual, use live video for showcasing success stories, simplify your sales funnel, etc.
Changing from a push-to-pull sales approach is not an easy task and it will take a while for your organization to adjust. Social selling is a long-term strategy that can help you achieve higher ROI in the future but only if you have patience and persistence. Stick with your strategy and bring your company to a new level when it comes to sales.
If this sounds interesting, and you want to try it out for yourself, you should read this great article about Social Selling on LinkedIn: "10 Social Selling Strategies You Can't Afford to Dismiss."