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Social Selling Made Easy: You have to be in it to win it!

janice-b-gordon-social-selling-sharing

I asked Cranfield School of Management Associates if they were sales, knowing the question would be uncomfortable. Most micro and small businesses whether consultants, trainers or otherwise, do not like the negative connotations of selling. When I asked the same group of experts if their role was to share their knowledge, they all agreed.  I asked them and now you, to supplement social selling with social sharing and so selling is an opportunity to share your knowledge.

In delivering to consultants social selling made easy my aim is to give step by step takeaway strategies that you can apply immediately. My focus is LinkedIn as this platform is relevant to most B2B relationship building and purchasing decisions.

Rather Than Ask Why Social Selling? Ask Why Not!

The buying process is more complex. CEB’s research shows that the average B2B opportunity has 5.4 decision makers involved. Today’s purchasing decisions require more consideration and due diligence, such that buyers are careful to choose their supply partners. 90% of decision makers will not answer cold contacts yet 80% of contacts in LinkedIn are open to new opportunities. 57% of buyers are in the decision-making process long before you reach out to them.

A majority of buyers and executives are using social media to make purchasing decisions. In a 2015 IDC study, researchers found that three out of four B2B buyers and eight of ten executive buyers use social media to make purchasing decisions. In addition, buyers who use social media are more influential; have larger budgets, and buy more frequently. Since these are the buyers you want to engage with, it makes sense to meet them where they are, in the digital space.

You have to be in it to win it!

According to LinkedIn, social selling is about leveraging your social network to find the right prospects, build trusted relationships, and ultimately, achieve your sales goals.

6 Powerful Benefit of Social Selling You would Be Crazy to Ignore:

  1. Shortened Sales Cycle (70% research online pre-purchase information gathering).
  2. Reputation Management (This is 2016 your social profile speaks before you do, every employee is your sales representative).
  3. Lead Generation (follow keywords to follow the conversation and capture opportunities).
  4. Customer Retention (customer want to feel connected – you share relevant content and keep your customer in the loop until they are ready to buy, again).
  5. Increased Productivity (Study 2012 by Jim Keenan, 78.6% of sales people using social media to sell out performed those who weren’t using social media).
  6. A sense of Attachment (law of reciprocity).

I cannot physically talk to 1 million people, however, I can easily reach 1 million people online. Sharing your successes, your achievement and your lesson attracts more people and more opportunities to you.

LinkedIn 4 Pillars of Social Selling: Here Are the Easy Strategies:

  1. Create a professional brand
  2. Focus on the right prospects
  3. Engage with insights
  4. Build trusted relationship

Remember Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

At the beginning of this year, I sent out a series of LinkedIn updates on the theme of growing business relationships, a company director recognised that their work was project based and identified with my content and arranged a meeting, it took another 4 months to secure this client. However, now I have a new sector with a known issue that I can help solve, this sector becomes a research group and target for 2017.

  1. Create a professional brand

Complete your LinkedIn profile to become a superstar ensuring your maximise your LinkedIn profile headline for keywords your clients search you for, get your personal URL and a professional photo that gives your profile 14 times more views. Be human and have personality, preferably your own.

  1. Focus on the right prospects

If no one knows you guess what one knows you, so be consistent and persistent and be visible with targeted updates, contributions and connections. Connect with a personal comment something from their profile or content. Follow target clients and companies, listen-in to their postings, note job changes register with Google alert for news and mentions.

  1. Engage with insights.

Connect with warm introduction (referral) or name drop must ask permission strategically, make it easy (send draft) Follow-up (thank you and result). Share your success, challenges and insights. Publish insightful research on key industry trends, which will capture broad attention, including that of industry leaders.

  1. Build trusted relationship.

A thorough audit of the target businesses should be the starting point. Assess their strategies, review their products and services and look for opportunities where your products have the best chance of being embraced.

With 76% of buyers prefer to work with a supplier recommended by someone they know, you must leverage your LinkedIn connections for a warm introduction has now become essential in reaching out to buyers. Build trust by sharing your knowledge and helping to provide relevant information and solutions to your clients’ specific problems. You must have genuine conversations, focusing on your client needs, selling only when it is the next logical step to providing their specific solution.

If you would like an opportunity to talk further about how you can utilise the benefits of social selling sharing in your business please contact me

 

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