It’s one of the hottest topics in sales today: social selling. Social selling refers to using social media channels to close deals, leveraging the power of these social networks and relationship building. But social selling is a far cry from standard sales techniques. In fact, it’s more of a fine art.
Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered with our ultimate list of 7 social selling tips.
What Makes Social Selling Stick?
Before we dive into our social selling tips, let’s start off with the basics: what is social selling in the first place, and why is it actually a great way to drive sales? Social selling is a sales technique that relies on the power of social media platforms and networks. Instead of your classic hard sales techniques (like cold calling), someone practicing social selling will use their platforms to build genuine relationships, engage with customers, nurture leads, and eventually close deals.
Any social media platform can be a great avenue for social selling, but LinkedIn might just be the most popular. Social selling is also possible through platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Data tells us that social selling is an incredibly effective sales technique. Salesfolks who use social selling have more leads than their competitors (sometimes up to 50% more), while social selling on LinkedIn specifically can lead to 45% more sales opportunities.
What makes social selling really work? By leveraging professional networks and social media connections, salespeople gain immediate access to decision-makers, and can build solid relationships with them. Also, Salespeople can also gather useful information on their prospects based on their profiles, and use those insights in their efforts.
Lastly (and maybe most importantly) social selling involves continuous engagement. It’s patient, genuine, and sometimes, can be a “long game.” While this might sound like a downside at first, we see it as a firm upside that can often pay off. These are often rock-solid leads that you’ve nurtured to perfection, and it’s typical to see them come around when the time is right for them.
Just check out this example from our Chairman & Chief Evangelist, who had a lead circle back 3.5 years later.
But if you want to have leads sliding into your DMs like crazy, it’s probably not going to happen on its own.
7 Social Selling Tips to Really Drive Sales
In order to really get the hang of social selling, you’re gonna need to go through a few stages first. Here is our master list of social selling tips, so you can close deals with ease.
1. Start with your profiles (they probably need some work)
Social selling relies on the good name of your social media profiles, so you have to optimize them for this very thing. But you need to go above and beyond simply adding your job title and a nice headshot.
To start with, for each of your profiles, you need a compelling bio and memorable one-liner, which showcases your professional expertise and unique selling points. Your picture needs to be related to your industry (suit and tie might be your thing, but so could an NFT ape). And be sure to include buzzy industry-specific keywords to showcase your relevancy and knowledge.
And of course, don’t forget to build out your key areas: work experience, relevant certificates and education, and other professional accomplishments you’re dang proud of.
2. Share insightfully, often
In order for social selling to work, your profile can’t be crickets. Remember that prospects are likely going to do some digging into you, and will judge you based on your profile. Because of this, you need to position yourself as a thought leader in your space.
This can be done by sharing relevant articles (along with thoughts and insights), business wins, stories of struggle (and how you overcame them), and other valuable personal and professional insights.
Also, keep in mind that there are plenty of different types of marketing content that are useful for social selling. You can share videos, whitepapers, infographics, and other types of visual content, for example.
Your content should go live at a regular cadence, and it shouldn’t take you all that long to put together. A little later we’ll dive into how you can learn how to swiftly craft industry-leading content on your socials.
3. Remember, social media digging is your friend
One of the perks of social selling is that you can easily gather useful tidbits about your prospects. You can quickly beeline to decision-makers at companies, and see what makes them tick.
So, before you reach out to anyone, be sure to start by doing your research. You can use advanced search features to target people in certain roles, or at specific organizations, for example. You can also dive into industry-specific groups and communities to identify prospects and engage in related discussions.
In short: don’t shy away from using the power of social media to your advantage, in a professional and targeted manner.
4. Treat your leads like a comfortable acquaintance
The old days of cold calling are out. What’s in? Nurturing leads on social media in a friendly and knowledgeable way. In order to nurture your leads through social selling, you need to communicate with them in a way that seems natural, helpful, and authoritative. Work to build rapport, and instead of angling to close a deal right away, look to build long-term relationships with future loyal customers.
How exactly should you communicate with social selling leads? You can kick off communications by liking, sharing, or commenting on someone’s content, to show genuine interest and support, and add to the conversation. Also, always respond promptly to comments, messages, and inquiries.
Be sure to personalize and tailor your approach – never “copy and paste.” Each of your prospects has unique needs and pain points, and you should be offering personalized solutions to their specific needs.
As you move prospects along in the sales process, you can seek to transition them to more direct communication channels. For example, after a working relationship has formed and a lead is interested, you can suggest the possibility of connecting through email, phone call, or video chat.
5. Be sure to map to your buyer’s journey
Just like your marketing strategy shouldn’t have a one-size-fits-all approach to content, neither should your social selling strategy. How can you do that? By mapping your social selling strategy to your buyer’s journey.
Keep in mind, every prospect you encounter is at a different stage of the buyer’s journey. They might be aware they have an issue, but know about any solutions just yet. Or, they might be aware of different solutions to their pain point, and are weighing different options.
Your social selling strategy should definitely be executed with your buyer’s journey in mind, where you’re meeting your buyers at where they are in the journey.
6. Also, align with your business page
Your prospects likely aren’t going to want to put their faith and dollars in a rogue agent. Instead, they’re going to want to see your professional expertise and how you shine in your domain. With that in mind, you should be sure to align your and your content to your company’s pages. You can share stories and content related to your company (such as wins and success stories), while tying in your professional expertise and position as a trusted advisor.
7. Know the common social selling pitfalls
You’ve probably seen it yourself before, firsthand: a message comes into your LinkedIn inbox, a clear sales attempt. After a casual intro, the person dives right into selling a product or a service. You quickly hit “delete,” and move on with your day.
When it comes to social selling, there are many “do’s,” but there are also plenty of “don’ts.” Remember that slow and steady is the key with social selling, and you have to act with tact and patience. You also need to position yourself as a thought leader, and true expert in your field, so you’re the obvious choice when someone is ready to close a deal.
Social selling is quickly becoming the new norm, and for many who have yet to fully dive in, it’s a wealth of untapped potential. By keeping these social selling tips in mind, you can swiftly build out your platform and grow your list of leads, so eventually, you’re able to close deal after deal faster than you can say “social network.”
When It Comes to Social Selling, Let Us Show You the Ropes
You might be thinking that social selling sounds like a lot, and that it might be too much to add to your plate. But believe us when we say: mastering social selling is well beyond worth it. We practice what we preach, and we’ve generated $4.5M in revenue for our own organization from purely-organic LinkedIn posts and comments.
Want to learn our secrets? We’ll happily share them with you and your team in our expert-led social selling workshops. These workshops are designed to help your team build a strong personal brand, engage with prospects, and close more deals than ever before. We’ll even help you learn how to quickly create and share content that resonates with your target audience.
Interested in diving in? Contact us today.