Let's face it: In sales, nothing is easy. You have to hustle and grind. To be on top, you have to make more calls than anyone else. Well, at least ten years ago you did...
I don't mind working hard, but I also need to be working smart. That's why I have incorporated social media into my sales process, and so should you! In this article, I'll give you some easy tips on how you can do that today.
1. First Things First - Listen
If you know the answer to each of these questions, congratulations – Your marketing is top notch!
But if you're like most companies and salespeople, you probably forget to listen and try to fill in the blanks yourself.
- What are the challenges prospects face?
- What keeps them from succeeding in their work?
- What do they need help with?
- What is their ultimate reason for buying something new?
Most salespeople ignore these questions and try to jump straight into giving answers. Ask the right questions and listen to what pains prospects. Listening in social media helps you to understand customers' problems, which in turn helps you to know what and how to serve them.
Keep tabs on your toughest competitors to see what they are up to and what strategies they're applying. Listening to what they are doing and how customers are responding can give you a competitive edge.
2. Engage and Discuss
Now that you have been keeping tabs, it's time to start making yourself known among your prospects. Yes, it's totally ok to retweet one or two... or five of their posts. It's also fine to ask them a question, or comment on their comment, for that matter.
Don't be scared to engage. Prospects love the fact that you are paying attention to them. Prospects love attention. Don't we all?
3. Post Regularly and Post with Meaning
For salespeople, social media should be a long-term game. It's an opportunity to make the web work for you so that you don't have to panic about your next big deal.
Social media requires a clear strategy, and the strategy needs to be clear every time you post. You need to consider the following, when posting:
- What's your goal?
- For whom are you posting?
- How does this help you with your sales?
- Why should people care about this post?
- Is this helpful or educational?
Be consistent. There is no excuse for not answering a message/comment/tag, or for posting only when you want to sell something. People and prospects see right through that, and you don't want to gain that reputation. Also, don't post too often - A spammer is no better than someone who posts only when they want to sell.
Use your common sense and make sure you're offering value with every post.
4. Be Yourself
No one likes people who are fake. The same applies to social media.
Authenticity creates trust, and trust is the foundation of any sale. Once you earn your prospect's trust, they'll repay you. Treat social media like a friend and it will be good to you.
There are no shortcuts or magic potions. Social media is like any other sales strategy - it takes dedication and persistence to become a winner.
On a final note, remember that these strategies are not channel-specific; they can be applied to different social media channels. Just figure out where your prospects are and start working towards the perfect social selling strategy.
If you think I missed something, tweet me at @JoonasAleksi.