Social media has changed the way buyers buy and sales reps sell. Traditionally, consistent and real-time communication amongst seller and buyer did not exist. With unprecedented use of Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ and so many more social networks, there is an opportunity to understand buyers like never before. Each and every day, your prospects are giving hints away on if and when they are ready to buy your product or service. Still not quite sure how you or your sales team can increase and accelerate sales through buying signals? Read on.
A buying signal is an indication of purchase intent and buyers are giving them away, for free, on social media. These can come in hard or soft forms. An example of a hard signal is somebody asking about the price or feedback around your product, or that of a competitor. An example of a soft signal might be: let’s say we sell baby cribs and we monitor people who are researching baby names. This intel tells us that in several months time this same person will be needing/shopping for a baby crib. By monitoring your prospects and the right topics on LinkedIn, Twitter, and more, you can pick up on these. For more info on buying signals or triggers follow Craig Elias.
They’re everywhere if you listen.
Notice each of these signals are discrete since they reside only in the buyer’s world and can only be picked up through careful listening. Catching these separates good salespeople from the flock of vendors through taking advantage of these key small windows of opportunity. Just now as I read a tweet addressed to my city “In #Vancouver and need a place to stay for the night. Any suggestions?” It’s been 5 minutes and not a single hotel has responded. I’m thinking of reaching out and offering my guest room for $40 per night. Twitter and LinkedIn Groups are my two favorite social spots to find and listen for buying signals. Social Relationship Platforms like HootSuite help monitor all of these in one spot and have app integrations with tools like NeedTagger to help identify purchase intent on social media.
OK I found one. Now what?
Buying signal or not, it’s never that easy to close a sale even if the triggers are identified, the work still needs to be done. The great part is that these signals give you the ammo you need to increase the likelihood and velocity of a closed deal. Use these signals to write your emails, subject lines, conversations and watch how quickly you navigate the sales funnel changing prospects to paying customers. Don’t forget, social is not a place for a hard sell – it’s a place to build trust and credibility. Work the intelligence in to your formal sales process and messaging while staying top of mind by continuing to interact on a personal level over social media.
Editor’s Postscript: Julio’s advice about social media listening skills is a keystone of good social selling skills. The new way to sell incorporates relationship building throughout and across social channels. You can only benefit from understanding, monitoring, engaging, and following up on these signals — they’re a secret weapon in many ways, as many brands have been slow to embrace social selling techniques. Social is where your prospects are doing their research in advance of meeting you. As you know, all the stats indicate that they are aware and exploring long before they reach out to the brand. You might want to check out Anton Rius’ article on how relationships turn into revenue.
This post was originally published on Social Media Today. Many thanks for letting us share it with our readers.