How To Become A Leader In Social Selling

A few months ago I went to a fantastic conference at the Linkedin head quarters in London. The purpose of the event was to learn all about social selling. I was quite surprised to be mentioned in their powerpoint as one of the top social sellers in the room! (See pic above) I learnt so much today so I thought I’d write a blog about it.

Firstly, what is social selling? Well it’s kind of what it says on the tin, a process of using social media (Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin) to generate sales. However, the fundamental part of social selling is building relationships.

Social selling is starting to separate the “not bad” sales people to the real sales stars. Linkedin has created a free online tool which analyses your social selling index (SSI) this tool will show you how you compare with your peers and how strong your SSI is. Here is what mine looks like:

Your social selling index is measured by the adoption of the 4 top pillars of social selling:

  1. Create a professional brand- Having a professional brand is vital when you are a sales person. If you are booking a face to face meeting with a potential client, what is the first thing they are going to do before they meet you? It is most likely that they are going to check out your Linkedin profile. A complete Linkedin profile defines who you are and adds credibility.
  2. Find the right people- if you use Linkedin to find the right people before you try to sell to them, you can do your research and look for commonalities which will help you to establish a relationship. You can also search for 2nd degree connections and ask your 1st degree connections to make introductions. These intros will create warm leads.
  3. Engage with insights- By posting and creating content on Linkedin you will be able to strengthen your personal connections. This content can help you become a trusted source of insights and you can also engage with other people’s content. You can use Linkedin groups to leave constructive comments which may enhance your relationships with potential customers who are also in the group.
  4. Build strong relationships- Every time you meet someone you should add them on Linkedin, a larger network will help you when you are finding new prospects. If you work in a large organisation you should connect internally, it may be that someone you are having a sales meeting with knows another person from your organisation. That person within your organisation could give you some valuable information before you go to your meeting with the potential client.

I recently upgraded my Linkedin account to the premium version which I think has really improved my social selling index, I can send more direct messages, do in-depth searches and see who has been viewing my profile. Linkedin have recently developed a proper social selling navigation tool which I may also try out!

Do you use Linkedin as part of your sales strategy? If yes, do you have any other tips?

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