Building relationships with #SocialSelling
Photo credit to Seemi Samuel @ https://unsplash.com/@seemisamuel
It is a given. When you work in sales, sooner or later you end up discovering that the more trust you build with your customers, the better chances are that they will keep buying from you. If you are good at what you do, then building relationships will come naturally to you. That’s probably why #SocialSelling doesn’t sound too weird to you right now, does it?
One of the pillars on what #SocialSelling is based, Building Relationships might be the most critical one when it comes to actually closing a deal and not just finding it. When it comes to whatever sales process you follow, a time comes when it is all about trust: you give them something, and they give back. Sometimes it’s just talking to your Champion within the account and getting some info that you didn’t have before and you now need. What better way to consolidate that trust if not by being the first one to give something?
Look beyond who they are and into what they need through #SocialSelling
Even without the Technology we now have, this has been a cardinal rule in sale for as long as trade has existed: you give something and in return, you receive something.
Having said that, have you ever struggled with finding information that can allow you to build trust faster? Have you ever wanted to have firsthand information on that other person so proving value wouldn’t be a chimera? I bet you have. Always trying to find that one thing we can give them that makes them want to trust us more. You know that once you’re in, it’s all downhill.
Intelligent Prospecting is the Key
As explained in a previous blog, #SocialSelling is not just about finding the right people but also proving that you found them for a reason: you know who they are and why you want to talk to them. It’s only fair that you explain to them who you are and why they should be talking to you. That’s the value add part after all and they key to build powerful business relationships.
You’ve searched for them, found them and even maybe added them to your network but have you engaged them? You’ll be surprised…to see how accurate some of the numbers below are:
- 7 out of 10 sales reps will add people to their networks hoping they will accept the invitation to connect, with no previous engagement or knowledge of who the person they are inviting is.
- 8 out of 10 sales reps do not bother to customize or personalize their “invitation to connect” message, which causes invitations to be rejected.
- 71% of sales reps will not follow-up with their new contacts unless there is a specific request to meet with them.
- Only 30% of reps will check a customer’s profile and activity before going into a meeting or a phone call.
Those numbers came back to me after I run an anonymous poll on my Twitter network, comprised mostly of sales and technology professionals. I was surprised not by the results but mostly, by how common these areas are. Even though we now have tools as complete and comprehensive as LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator, most of these behaviors are the same sales reps had 1 or 2 decades ago.
You can do better than that as a sales person. Even if you’re not big on #SocialSelling, all you need to do is download an app to your phone. It doesn’t even need to be the Sales Navigator. Truth be told, you can even use Evernote or any other “notes” app and build a customer profile for your contact based on the information you get online.
The key is still the same: if you prospect right, you’ll find more than just a name. If you focus not in their name or rank, but on who they really are and what they do, you’ll get a whole new level of information you can use to prepare yourself before you meet them.
Once you’ve found the contacts all you need to do is look into simple stuff like:
- Their online activity, such as what they share, comment or like.
- Career changes that might indicate promotions or any other sort of relevant change.
- Personal updates like anniversaries, birthdays, etc.
- Connections, as in who are they connected to that you might have in common.
Remember: as long as they share it, you can use it. Their privacy settings will take care of the rest.
None of this was so easily achievable before #Social got so big and now that it’s out there…it’s all about who uses it more, who uses it right and who doesn’t at all. All you need to do is spend more time searching, finding, sorting and preparing for your meetings, and it is through the proper use of #SocialSelling that you can do it.
Originally published at IT is what IT is.