To sell you need to find your prospects of interested people get in front of them and engage their interests, so your prospects of possible buyers see what you have to offer that will serve their needs. In our online socially connected world connection and engagement has now become easier.
We thought marketing through social media to fill your sales funnel of leads and then converting the leads into prospects was all that was required. However, what is the point of collecting leads and engaging them with targeted content and without allowing your prospective customer to take action, giving them an opportunity to raise their hand?
Social selling is the use of social media networks to connect, inform, engage and convert prospects into buyers with answers to theirs questions and problems and relevant content that help these prospects to make the decision to buy.
The benefit of social selling is the relative low-cost of prospecting, the ability to connect and engage many more prospects than through tradition means and the ability to better target interested prospects.
The problem with social selling is that salespeople use social media to replace traditional means of attracting and engaging prospects towards the buying decision, such as communicating directly with potential buyers.
An an example: I send out a monthly newsletter, the aim is to stay connected with those on my prospect list. I provide content through blog summaries and information on what I have been up to along with a showcase of useful information or case studies. I make only three offers a year. I can tag my links, so I know those that have expressed interest in the linked item, I then follow-up with a direct email or telephone message to the prospect that clicked the link. Many people do not use their newsletter as a sales signalling tool, and they then do not follow through and follow-up.
How to move your social prospects towards buyers?
- Ask questions to understand their needs and refine what and how you make an offer.
- Post comments in forums, forums help your prospects to signal their interests and needs.
- Engage in discussion forums that attract your prospects with useful and timely information that will help your prospects to identify you as an expert.
- Comment on industry blogs when you have relevant information to add value.
- Create a blog and distribute with targeted keyword search terms through relevant social media channels.
- Call to follow-up on all potential buying signals.
- Ask permission to make an offer.
- Some will be happy for you to present an offer with a call to action.
How to secure your buyers?
- Do not expect all buyers to purchase off the page.
- Contact the individual to follow-up with a request for a conversation or a meeting.
- Conduct detailed research prior to your sales meeting of the industry, the company; position the competitors and their customer needs.
- Request the completion of a brief questionnaire prior to your sales meeting.
- Use the targeted information gathered to refine your offer.
- Do not launch into presenting your offer in the sales meeting, listen for concerns, buying signals pain-points and personal motivations.
- Establish what a good result would be, before you ask permission to present your offer.
- Make your offer answering how your solution fits their criteria of the best outcome.
The objective is to present an offer that can demonstrate how your products and services directly solve the issues their prospect buyer is facing. Provide a picture of how critical this sale is in meeting their specific and immediate need.
B2B sales tend to be more complex, and sales can involve any number of people within the organisation, next week I will talk about social selling to this decision-making unit of multiple buyers.
Many worry about the privacy threat of social media; however, it is time to look closely at the opportunities it presents a salesperson. There has never been a better time to embrace these tools and uncover new customer opportunities and craft a well-researched pitch that meets the customer’s specific needs.
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