How do you view what is social selling? Do you see it as a short-term benefit to your sales numbers, or a long-term strategy meant to position you for ongoing success in your endeavors?
The truth is that far too many salespeople view social selling as a purely transactional strategy. You do the things that you need to do and are rewarded with conversations with your ideal prospects and sales.
But — social selling shouldn’t be viewed through a transactional lens. The benefits of social selling are vast and go well beyond a simple sale. Social selling lays a foundation for the rest of your career, helping to meet quotas when things are slow, establish connections with large and valuable organizations, and position yourself as a true expert in your industry.
It’s important to understand this because this understanding should affect the way that you devise a strategy. Some of how social selling can help you to lay the foundation of your sales future include:
Create a Reliable Social Presence
At its heart, social selling is all about creating a substantial social presence that will last you for years to come. Because social selling places the focus on building relationships instead of merely making sales, it helps you to establish a respected presence among prospects within your industry.
If you were to change jobs, found your own company, or simply move to selling a new product — that foundational presence that you have built doesn’t go anywhere. It is yours to keep. It doesn’t disappear when you make your change. Those relationships remain intact and can be leveraged in your new position as well.
Develop Connections that Lead to Referrals
The thing about building stable relationships instead of focusing on making sales is that it puts you in a position to be a trusted resource, even for people that are not interested in buying your product themselves. This kind of relationship-building can help you to facilitate referrals and position yourself as a go-to resource.
The focus on developing genuine connections ensures that when a friend or colleague is looking for a solution like the one you provide, you are already top-of-mind and positioned as a dependable resource for those needs.
Viewing social selling as purely transactional leads to you missing these opportunities. When you move on from discussions before building a connection, you never position yourself for these referrals. Then, they’ll go to the social seller that puts in the time to build the relationship without a focus on short-term sales.
Improved Brand Recognition & Authority
The foundation that social selling lays for you helps you to improve the recognition of the brand and product that you are promoting while increasing your authority within your industry. It serves both your own sales career, as well as your brand. This fact is part of the reason why social selling has become so popular among sales professionals — social selling allows you to simultaneously promote the brand that you work for while building your status as well.