The Definitive Guide to Establishing a Social Selling Routine
But First…What Is Social Selling?
Without question, todays customers have become better informed, socially empowered decision makers. Consumers often use social media in finding the best deals, in researching products and in making recommendations. Less understood is the use of social media among perceptive business purchasers.
This shift in consumer behavior has forever altered tried and true conventional sales practices, and now, sales organizations using social media for listening and engaging customers – or social selling as we call it– is a natural effect of social buying.
So with that as the back drop, WSI has created a step by step guide that will help you or your organization establish a social selling routine that will help build your company and drive sales – all in around 30 – 60 minutes per day.
Step 1 – Find Content to Share
Social selling is the process of assisting social buyers in becoming customers.
Your customers will better know and trust you if your sales people reach prospects through their social networks. They have the chance to create and share content of value to their customers.
Social selling is a natural extension of becoming a social business. These businesses transformed their view of their operation and the world, and changed to a more significant focus on customers. In a social world, empathy is a key ingredient.
Step 2 – Share Content to Your Social Network
By sharing content that will show you as an expert on your subject matter, you will brand yourself or your company as a thought leader, and no matter what you do, it’s always a good idea to position yourself as an industry expert.
In this way, you can influence the buying decisions of their prospects and participate in their choices before they are even engaged.
Then you must listen. Collect intelligence about the prospects and their businesses, market conditions and the industry. Identify the decision makers in your potential business targets and what is most important to them.
Step 3 – Find Out Who Has Reviewed Your LinkedIn Profile
One major difference between LinkedIn and other social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, is the ability to see who has reviewed your profile.
The new layout of LinkedIn for seeing who has viewed your profile includes new real-time insights and impressive analytics that will enhance your professional brand and increase the visibility of your profile.
Originally, users could see only the number of times their profile had been viewed, and a list of the recent users who checked out your page. Now, LinkedIn breaks this data down further, which shows what industry your viewers work in, and what searched keywords led them to your profile. It will also tell you the companies for which they work, their profession and the region in which they live.
Step 4 – Convert Hot Buyers that Reviewed Your LinkedIn Profile to a First Degree Connection
This one is pretty straightforward…if you see someone has viewed your profile and is NOT a connection; it’s time to connect with them directly. This is an easy way to grow your network with people who are interested in what you do.
Step 5 – Check Your Content Engagement
As social media’s universe continues to swiftly expand, you must remember that content alone is not enough to position your company where you would like it to be.
You must follow up your content with context, and – maybe even more important – engagement. This is the best use of social media. You must engage others in your dialogue in order to be social.
Just as conversations on the front porch, with neighbors and family members, involve context, so does the content in your social media. Your content online must travel well between different devices and platforms. The things that read well on a laptop or desktop must also be easily navigated on a tablet or a smartphone.
Step 6 – Connect with Your LinkedIn Content Readers outside Your 1st Degree Network
Once you have decided on which professionals to connect with outside your network, they can most easily be found by advanced people searches. If you are experienced in LinkedIn, you may see many people with whom you would like to connect in many LinkedIn places.
You may find these people on your “people you may know” area, featured on the top right of your home page at LinkedIn, and in some group discussions. Once you have found people with whom you want to connect, read their contact settings.
Many people sign up for LinkedIn and forget about it. These people are not engaged on the platform. If they include any contact information, you may contact them. This may lead to a connected and mutually beneficial LinkedIn relationship.
Step 7 – Review Email Reminders & Job Change Alerts
If you contact with new people on LinkedIn through invitations, add a personal note about yourself and your company when you respond. This is a big opportunity to go past the stock “Thanks for connecting” message and perform genuine outreach to start a business relationship.
For recruiting, marketing and sales professionals, keeping track of job change alerts is useful so that you don’t lose potential leads because you are not on LinkedIn every day.
The Job Change Alerts on LinkedIn can send push notifications daily to your mobile device, with all pertinent job changes, along with a list you can review. This pulls valuable data slices from updates and sends it to your tablet or phone. That allows you to comment on the job changes, to share and direct message these contacts.
Step 8 – Save All Hot Buyers into LinkedIn Tag Folder
On LinkedIn, you are able to use tag folders to save your hot leads. This is an excellent practice in theory. Be sure that you don’t overdo it and spam peoples’ inboxes. This may drive people away instead of drawing them in.
Saving all your hot buyers in your tag folder on your LinkedIn pages will allow you to separate your contacts, since some of your messages will be targeted to specific contacts. You will naturally want to spend more time on some contacts than on others.
Step 9 – Overcome the Dead Zone by Sharing Weekly Content with Your Hot Buyers
Reaching prospects earlier than when they need you allows you to provide information that will solve specific challenges for them. Content attracts new clients and re-attracts existing customers of your company. Demonstrate your thought leadership by repurposing your existing content to make it more pertinent to clients.
Sharing content with hot buyers acknowledges that they have the power. Many buying decisions are made before a customer speaks to a sales representative at your company.
Step 10 – Review other Trigger Event Alerts
There are many trigger events you will want to keep track of, to ensure that you can provide the content and sales assistance that your clients and future clients need. Stay on top of each potential lead on all your company’s social platforms. A slow response can cause you to lose a sale.
Review trigger alerts on other sites, in addition to LinkedIn, once a day if you can. It is better to do this even more frequently, to keep up to date with contacts.
Step 11 – Follow Up on Outstanding LinkedIn Messages
When you follow up with contacts, don’t tell them that you are just “checking in” or “touching base”. Instead, become an asset for them in their decision-making process. In this way, they will want to work together with your company.
It’s important in this step to re-emphasize the value of the business connection. You can have an impact on the organizations of your prospects. Let them know you can be of help to them.
You may also share insights and ideas. Your prospects will be more interested in working with someone who is always thinking about ways to improve business. You can be this person.
Educate prospects on the fact that it does make sense to move forward. Give contacts reasons why change is good for their business. You will be providing value to their company. Even if they mentioned that you could check back next week, and seem committed to your company’s services or products, they may not yet be willing to make the changes of which you have spoken.
Step 12 – Kick-Start 5+ New Conversations
Conversations are important to the success of businesses whose focus is sales. It may not be easy to start those conversations. Everyone is busy today, and your prospects are no exception. It may be difficult to hold their attention.
Initiate conversations in a way that will hold your prospects’ attention, and make way for a sales process that is productive. Outline approaches that can be taken to get these conversations off properly.
These approaches include sharing best practices in your industry and sharing newer ideas that your prospects have not yet considered. Ask your contact for introductions to other people in their company. Highlight the positive results you have had with other companies.
Invite your buyers to take that first step, perhaps to attend an event, which does not require a great deal of commitment on their part. Propose solutions for your new clients in areas of their company with which you have not yet worked, to let them know how valuable you can be to their company.
Still Want to Learn More – Download Our Free Whitepaper
If you’d like to learn even more about social selling, either contact us today to take advantage of our special services such as social selling for mortgage and real estate professionals, or download our Free Whitepaper on Mastering Social Selling.