• Paul Thompson

Social Selling - what's that?


The digital age, its disruption and speed of change has changed the sales and marketing landscape forever.


A company’s products and services are easily researched online, buyers turn to social media to make buying decisions.


A social media strategy is crucial to align with sales and marketing activity to reach prospective customers. The opportunity to influence buyers through their buying journey and ultimately drive sales is too big an opportunity to ignore.


The old ‘sales’ model is dying, sales staff will inevitably reduce in numbers. The transformation to the new ‘norm’, the buyer shift and the variety of channels on offer.

Current models of ‘company to person’, for example Linked-In company page, Twitter page, Google+ page, Facebook page, Corporate blog etc. don’t have the same conversion rates as a ‘person to person’ selling model.


Social networks are designed for person to person contact, business to business relationships are also person to person - people buy and rely on people!


To give you some perspective on Linked-In membership and its potential to influence: 1,200,000 LinkedIn in NZ, 6,400,000 LinkedIn in Australia, 25-34 age group 24%, 35-44 age group 23%, 45-54 age group 17% - over 40% of LinkedIn users are either ‘regular’ or ‘addicted’ users


The process to utilise Linked-In for example as a ‘social selling tool’ is really quite easy and manageable.


THE PROCESS:

1) Prospect list build

2) Profile building (inbound social selling)

3) Connection building (1st degree contacts)

4) Content marketing (making content relevant and interesting - not directly selling!)

5) Outbound lead generation


The first two parts of the process are detailed here to help you formulate a social selling strategy . . .


1) Prospect list build:

  • Identify decision makers

  • Identify Influencers

  • List company names

  • List job titles

  • Locations


2) Profile building:

  • Key settings

  • Activity broadcast

  • Who can see your activity feed

  • What others see when you’ve viewed their profile

  • Who can see your connections

  • Viewers of this profile also viewed

  • Your profile is what defines you - It contains resume-type sections that provide education, experience, interests, published content

  • Main purpose of your profile is to provide answers for solving your target audience’s needs

  • Google search is now showing results against industry keywords


Photo:

  • First impressions count – the only image of who you are

  • Use recent photo, muted background, chest high, 45 deg – with a Mona Lisa smile!

  • Don’t use grainy, pixelated, poorly lit, party pics or inappropriate pics


Headline:

  • Positions your name against core keywords describing expertise

  • Positions your profile higher in LinkedIn search results

  • Best practice: multiple titles – create a headline that displays keywords

  • What does this social seller stand for?

  • What does he/she sell?

  • What can he/she help you with?


Contact info:

  • Up to date – so connections can get in touch

  • Add Twitter account

  • Add web links

  • Aids in LinkedIn search results


Summary:

  • Section has highest character account

  • Used to provide a strong narrative of your experience and expertise to your audience

  • Write in the 1st person

  • Introduction and focus on your prospects’ pain points

  • Detail your experience helping your clients in the past

  • Detail your company’s experience in helping your prospects business issues

  • Call to action


Skills:

  • List 10-15 of your hard skills (expertise and value propositions) that are relevant

  • The more endorsements you have the more experienced you appear to your prospects


Publications:

Add your company’s marketing assets for the purpose of information distribution, brand building and demand generation

  • Add links to articles or videos that your business has been quoted in or contributed to

  • Links to online publications you are mentioned in

  • Links to White papers, PDFs etc.

  • Expand your network and create more commonalities with your prospects

  • Groups that are relevant to your prospects

  • Criteria for selecting: prospects job titles and location


Recommendation:

  • Ask your connections to recommend you

The process is a proven methodology to improve sales pipelines, its conversion rate extremely high compared to traditional methods - if you would like to explore the rest of the process we would love to explain and demonstrate - give Paul a call on 021 1977 400 or email paul.thompson@satsumo.co.nz.

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