I’m in Pre-Sales, Social Selling is Nothing to do with me, right?

Social Selling has many facets through the desire building and direct sales process. This includes Demand Generation (which should probably be called Social Marketing or Social Prospecting) through to closing a deal.

Pre-Sales can play an active role, in fact with the world changing, pre-sales people need to change to meet the world today.

Social Selling for Pre-Sales — The Basics

If a pre-sales person goes to meet a customer in the world we live into, I’m pretty sure the prospect will have checked you out on LinkedIn before you arrive. If you have a boring LinkedIn profile, the prospect will be expecting aboring meeting. You have lost before you have started.
 (Whenever I go to a meeting I send a LinkedIn connection request ahead of time. That, maybe a Blog for another day.)

This way, I hope, my prospects and customers will be thinking “Wow, looking forward to meeting this guy!”
 Which means I already I have a competitive advantage over the “corporate suit” LinkedIn profiles.

Customers Want to Meet Thought Leaders not Thought Followers!

So you have a Cool LinkedIn profile and Customers look forward to meeting you. But let’s take a logical step and transform you into a Thought Leader.

As a Thought Leader; people will seek you out as part of the buying process and ask your advice. Think about it. Companies will seek you out. (For the Sales People reading, this means, leads for free!).

While there are many definitions of what a Thought Leader is or should be. I’m not saying you suddenly need to be the next Brian Solis on the speaker circuit. But if you sell Human Capital Management (HCM) for example and are posting, publishing, blogging about HCM, I’m sure you are going to get spotted by somebody who is thinking about buying some HCM.

When people want to buy something, the first place they go to search for ideas, will probably be Google. I can get you on the first page, now wouldn’t that be cool?

So How Do you Become a Thought Leader?

This is actually more straight forward than some people think. I’ve made an assumption you are interested in what you do (if not, please don’t waste your time reading this).

You can start by curating content and posting through your Social Media channels. But, Please don’t become a corporate bore, think before you post. Is the person you want to read your posts really interested in your “Jargon, Jargon, my company is great #Meaninglesshashtag” posts? I’m not, for sure.

Let’s assume you have seen an interesting PWC white paper. Why not take a screen shot of one of the Infographics and ask an engaging question. “PWC survey says that 85% of CFOs think XYZ, is this similar for you in your industry?” Attaching the Infographic.

(If we go back to my point at the start of the blog. If a prospect and casual observer of your LinkedIn profile, sees your interesting posts they are going to think. This person knows their stuff, sounds like they know my industry and understands the issues that are keeping me awake. (They might even contact you ….)

As a Pre-Sales person you are given an amazing gift every time your meet a customer or prospect. Free business advice and consultancy. The customer will explain their business issues etc. You will, I assume, take notes and write these up. Why not turn them into a blog? Of course you cannot mention the customer, but you could write a 500 word piece on “What Business Issues we are Seeing in the XYZ Market right now and the Business Outcomes our Customers are Obtaining”.

Post this on Twitter, LinkedIn, Googleplus (you did claim your Google Authorship, yes?) and I can assure you, people will seek you out and free leads will come your way.

Conclusion

There is an old saying in sales that “People buy People”, this hasn’t changed, in fact in the Social world this is more appropriate.

Assuming you are a Pre-Sales person that wants to be recognised as a Professional in your industry, are interested in what you do and what to win your bonus; you need to wake up to Social Selling

Tim Hughes can be contacted at @timothy_hughes


Originally published at socialsellinglounge.com on February 11, 2015.

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