Social Selling needs to happen online AND offline

Social selling is the new buzz word in the business world. According to Hubspot, Social selling is when salespeople use social media to interact directly with their prospects. Salespeople will provide value by answering prospect questions and offering thoughtful content until the prospect is ready to buy.

With social media channels such as LinkedIn and Twitter, sales professi
onals are now able to reach the buyers in the research phase of the buying process and are able to position themselves as an industry expert and a thought leader. Companies get bombarded by product pitches every day. Buy my TV spots, buy my direct mail solution, buy my SEO/social solution. Its all bla, bla, bla for buyers, if it doesn’t offer any value. You want to lead with insight in how your solutions/strategy is going to position their business as market leader because you have valuable insight that proves that the strategy that you have created for them will guarantee a win.

Social media allows us to easily share any article, video, or document to a large group of people. Once you make the switch from pushing products to being an educator and strategic partner you will start to win sales. Business owners don’t want products, they want money. The product is not going to make them money, but the well thought out strategy will. So with social media we can now share our knowledge and reach the decision makers with valuable content to win trust and get sales.

All of this is great and definitely has made the job of a sales professional easier and more enjoyable to get to a decision maker and eventually close a sale. However, if you focus only on online social selling you will fail. People buy from people they like and trust. You cannot build a relationship of trust from just behind your computer. You have to have a strategy to build strong relationships by going to local networking events, doing speaking engagements, and having coffee/lunch meetings with you business contacts and group of business connections you continue to educate and build trust. Jill Rowley says it best. Sales organizations don’t need hunters or farmers, they need magnets.

Always be connecting leads to always be closing. You need to help whenever you can by providing leads and sharing your knowledge so that you become that person they think of when an opportunity arises. When you go to local networking events and collect business cards, immediately connect with them on LinkedIn so that they will see your daily updates. Send them thank you emails for connecting and then send out regular targeted emails to segments in your network so that you will always be on their top of mind when they are ready to make a buying decision.

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