Sell more and close faster with social selling
Social Selling Requires Building a Network Based on Trust.
No more dialing for dollars! You need to “tweet” and “like” your way into the hearts of potential buyers – it’s important and real. Social selling is here to stay and is replacing – email, document downloads and website visits in popularity.
It’s more than a like or two on a social site, social selling requires defining who your target buyer is then using social platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to learn more about their needs and timing for the purchase of your products. Small businesses have long competed based on personalizing an experience. Social selling can help you cut through the digital noise surrounding buyers to reach them when what you have to say matters most to them.
If you’re still not convinced that it’s important to your business, check out this 2017 Social Selling Trends Report. In it, you’ll learn that sales professionals using social selling:
- Have faster close rates
- Sell more
- More often hit revenue goals
Getting started is easy and doesn’t require you to be a social media expert. Listen first, tweet and post later. Follow several prospects you believe are buyers. What are they talking about? If they haven’t caught the social bug, but are on LinkedIn or Facebook where they have a profile, what do you have in common? Are you connected to colleagues? Are they in similar industry associations? What has their career journey been like? You’re not stalking and you’re not engaging just to make a sale – focus on getting to know them and building trust.
Develop rapport by commenting and re-tweeting things they are sharing. Build on this by sending messages directly to them to engage in conversations about their business interests and understand more about their specific needs. What are you learning? Are there areas where you can provide advice - If so, and it is relevant to the conversation, share.
Give your relationship time; social selling isn’t like shaking fruit from a tree. It is more like picking fruit when it is perfectly ripe. Work on understanding a buyer’s business needs. Don’t get discouraged – good relationships take time. If you take your time, you’ll build a foundation strong enough to be a trusted advisor.
Choosing the right tools to support social selling is important. Small and medium sized businesses often underestimate how quickly they’ll become socially savvy. This can sometimes lead to choosing tools that don’t meet their needs when their social selling programs grow quickly.
Here are some great tools for getting started:
Connect with customers and potential buyers using Hootsuite. Get started using the free plan for a single user. With it you can manage three social profiles, track your success with basic analytics and schedule up to thirty messages. Hootsuite provides free training on Social Advertising and Social Marketing. There are certification courses and guides for social benchmarking based on what they’ve learned from over 400 million social posts. If your needs or team are already more advanced and you want real-time analytics, bulk scheduling or RSS integration, Hootsuite also offers a low-cost $19 per month Professional Plan that you can trial free for 30 days.
If you’re looking for tools that combine social selling with CRM and email marketing. Getting started you can view and add followers from Twitter and match social profiles from LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and more. Prospector their new solution set embeds social selling tools like profiles and biographies into the buyers/sellers journey. Pricing starts as low as $9 per user, per month, when billed annually for more traditional CRM with contact management and $19 per user, per month for CRM with social selling tools.
If you sell online and want to convert visitors to purchasers, StoreYa Traffic Booster drives visitors from Google, Facebook, and more. Set up a Facebook Shop for engaging fans with group deals and scratch cards. Other add-on apps, many which are free, let you add Twitter feeds and Facebook “Like” boxes for developing your fan base. The cost is higher than the subscription for social selling software, but really what you’re purchasing is social engagement as part of an ecommerce solution. Build what you need or want by choosing the apps that work best for your business. Starter pricing ranges from Free for basic Facebook features to $79.99 for setting up a Facebook Shop.
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About the Author
Susan Galberaith is a product marketing professional focused on commercializing solutions to small and midsized businesses by connecting people to technologies that solve urgent business issues. As a marketing professional she enables sales teams to better understand how and when to best position products and services to customers. She also works with organizations to help them properly differentiate portfolios of solutions by telling stories about customer value in market. Susan holds a Masters of Liberal Arts in Communication Studies and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and an undergraduate degree from Drake University in Des Moines, IA. She is certified in Pragmatic Marketing.