Social media is now a recognized additive to almost every forward thinking organization’s sales force. In the B2B space the top 3 networks used during the sales process are LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. However, there are mixed reviews about overall success of “social selling,” but upon analysis of sales team behavior, I can definitively say – It’s still being done wrong!
Fishing is a great first step!
Fishing means you’re sharing content to generate interest from new leads and/or sharing niche content to establish yourself as a thought leader or expert. This is typically 1:Many content that is shared publicly on social. This needs to be a necessary part of everyone’s social selling strategy.
But You Can’t Stop There – Incorporate Hunting!
Along with fishing content, you need to have a more strategic account-based approach with content. This requires organized monitoring of prospects and key accounts on multiple accounts with the intention of communicating content to them based on their real-time needs. Usually this content is specifically aligned the stage the buyer is at in the sales process and something they say online will trigger you to deliver it via a 1:1 method. The right content, right person, right time!
Since you may not regularly communicate via 1:1 regularly with prospects – get in the habit of it. Occasionally at first and ensure that you add max value in every message you send. It should always be in context to their current situation – work or personal.
You Can’t Automate The Authenticity Needed For Complex Sales!
Even experts and thought leaders still need to personalize their approaches. You can spend all the time in the world building an amazing personal brand by sharing or creating content to establish yourself as a trusted adviser – BUT if you don’t put hyper relevant, and sometimes unrelated content in front of your key prospects – they won’t be interested in you. Listen to them regularly and build your relationship by finding and sharing content through direct messaging features in the networks you’re using to stay in touch with them.
- Avoid the urge to automate your activity when it relate to interacting with prospects and take the time to be more relevant to them than anyone else vying for their business.
- Use social media as a way to deepen the relationship with key players through relevant 1:1 interactions and as a way to eliminate dark periods that take place between traditional (phone/email) communications.
- The goals of your 1:1 engagements need to follow quid-quo-pro rules. For every piece of relevant first party sales content you share that corresponds with their funnel stage – try to also share one or two pieces of 3rd party content that matches up with the buyer’s real-time needs/interests. You can’t always be selling during a long sales process and this general rule will help you forge deep relationships with the right people.
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