I was listening yesterday to Mark Fidelman, author of the new book: “Socialize”, about the new playbook of today’s social sales environment. His main point is that the old sales playbook is dead. We must adjust our sales strategies to the current social reality. And from my experience in doing this each day – he’s absolutely right!
Mark suggests at least 8 things to apply into your social sales strategy (read the book for more).
- Share valuable content. Customers are making buying decisions based on research and advice from other informed and trusted people in their industry – you want to be one of the people who influences their decision by educating and informing them constantly. Studies show that you must be seen 7 times before someone remembers who you are.
- Use Social networks for targeted prospecting. My favorite social network is LinkedIn, but whichever it is, people are asking questions and presenting problems, and by listening and being a part of the conversations you will find incredible prospects.
- Engage! In Mark’s words: “Educate – but don’t sell unless asked”. No one wants to be sold today, but they want to be educated. Position yourself as an expert in your field and you will become the obvious choice for the solution you provide. I’d add, take away any mention of sales in your profiles – instead, be clear about what value you bring and to whom. You’re not a sales manager, account executive, or sales professional. You’re an expert in your field – have a heart of a teacher and a mind of an expert.
- Build relationships. Proximity is powerful – face to face meetings are the best, but to get to offline meetings, start online. Find and build relationships with the right people and if done right, you’ll find yourself meeting them face to face.
- Find competitive Intel. It’s easier than ever to watch what your competition is doing – be smart and subtle about it and you’ll know exactly how to “get the edge”.
- Find data driven insights. In sales we seek intel all day: who, what, where, when, why… get good with sorting through all the noise to find the gold. Use Google Alerts, Twitter Hashtags in your industry, and LinkedIn Advanced Search key words.
- Promote influencers and thought leaders in your industry. Just as I am doing now writing about Mark Fidelman’s awesome book “Socialize”. Find the leaders of your industry and promote them – if you support them, they will support you and endorse you and your offerings.
- Develop a following. It takes some time, but in today’s socially connected economy, you become valuable when you have a following, and instead of selling, they come to you with their problems. Figure out your target audience, the ideal customer, join their groups, engage and educate them as an expert in your field. The rest will follow…
In conclusion, if you do the above 8 things right, and read “Socialize”, you will reach a tipping point: the point where sales efforts attract customers (pull) vs. always being on the ‘hunt’ (push) all the time… It takes a while, so be patient, but it does happen. I know that from my own experience.
What other ideas do you have about being a Social Sales Pro?