By Ollie Whitfield (@OllieWhitfield_)
Sales reps have a quota to hit, and that means your time is precious. There are a million, +1 things you can do to start social selling. The keys are:
There are a million articles out on the internet that teach you how to set up your LinkedIn, or Twitter account so I’m not going down that road. Hubspot have a great Infographic on that, so take a look later on.
Find, engage, ask
What you need is to start looking at what people you need to speak to are doing. Where are they sharing content and being active?
If it’s LinkedIn, find those perfect potential buyers who you’d love to speak to and save them as a Sales Navigator Lead. Or if you’re not using it, tag them normally in LinkedIn. If it’s Twitter, follow, engage and start to get into conversation with these people.
Find nuggets of information about their personality, or interests. These will be much easier to get into a real, non salesy conversation around.
Once you are speaking via DM, inmail or plain comment or tweet chat make sure you are coming back to them quickly and replying in an open way. Try not to one-word-answer them!
The next step, is share their content. If you can’t see anything obvious to get into conversation with them about, make it. Find their last LinkedIn publication, or their latest blog on their company (or even own?) blog. Read it, share it, tag them in the share. Create a value for them to want to speak to you. Make them feel thankful you took the time to share what they created.
When they are ready and warming, talking to you privately over DM or inmail and they meet your buyer persona outline it’s time to ask. Asking for a person’s time is not easy, but if you lead with value you will get a better response. Nobody likes to be sold to, so remember how you know about XYZ (or your colleague does) and you think they would get along well and be able to solve some common problems you both have together. Set up a call, email exchange or even face to face meeting if you’re close enough.
Plug holes in the bucket
Not everyone will say yes when you ask for their time. That’s fine, and understandable. They may not have even gotten to that stage as yet, perhaps they are on holiday and haven’t seen you are sharing their content.
Just keep patient, and remember that when you called somebody and they didn’t answer, you called them back.
The social way to do this is to send them a message. Waiting a few days allows them to go away, get on with their work and you some time to engage lightly with them. Some retweets, LinkedIn likes and so on.
Go back with a message, sharing a link to some hyper-targeted content that helps them directly solve a problem that you’ve spoken about. Remind them, you’re helping and you work all around adding value. Once you have given them this extra value, you may feel they are ready to be asked again.
This sounds like a lot of work, but in routine it’s not. It’s not 6 hours per day, it’s however long you invest in it.
Social selling is a lot like dating, and I really dislike that analogy but it is very accurate. You’re building the rapport, by gaging each other’s interests and having that initial interaction. You’re then connecting properly, perhaps exchanging numbers in order to speak more in the future.
Then, you’re building more rapport then going for the ask. In dating terms that is the asking them out for a drink or dinner, and the chit chat before asking those words.
Once you’ve done that, you’re going for the sale, meeting again and making it official.
I love to help and answer questions, so please do tweet this article, message me any questions or thoughts you had as you read this post. I’m @OllieWhitfield_ on Twitter, and Ollie Whitfield on LinkedIn.
About Storyteller Media
Storyteller Media helps businesses connect to their audiences by creating and distributing creative, headline grabbing content that drives measurable results and ROI. We are social media agency built around helping you tell your story to the world. We were founded on the idea that everyone has a story to tell.