By Tom Springer (Darwinian Ventures)
In the last 15 years, the art of sales has evolved. Everyone has their own methods but one thing rings true — there are more ways to conduct business than ever before. In a world where everyone is connected by the simple click of a button — how do we, as salespeople, research and interact with our prospects at scale? In other words, how do we leverage social selling and most importantly…
What is social selling?
Social selling is the art of using social media to find, connect, understand, and nurture sales prospects. It’s the modern way to develop meaningful relationships with potential customers so you’re the first person or brand a prospect thinks of when they’re ready to buy. For many salespeople, it’s replaced the dreaded practice of cold calling. (Christina Newberry April 23, 2019)
I am one of THOSE sales people. Does dialing still work? Yes certainly. But is pulling a list of 800 names and sequentially calling effective, not necessarily. There is a nuance between cold calling and effective “warm” calling. No one wants to be cold called. Few care if you apologize for interrupting their day and lead to a pitch. There are very few markets where this still works (transactional sales aside). Research, emails, videos, calls, and social selling are all part of a larger web of sequences that sales professionals must use to be effective. The tricky part is understanding the difference between social selling and simply logging in to your LinkedIn and “Poof” you are a social seller.
I’ve spoken freely about my love of social selling for years. Most times when I bring it up in sales process meetings I’ve heard “we do connection requests” or “I send InMail’s”, but is that truly social selling?
To help accelerate your social selling I believe you have to:
- Truly invest time in understanding how your solution/product benefits a target market
- Join LinkedIn Groups that target to that specific market
- Curate posts that don’t “Sell” rather facilitate conversation
- Engage with those that engage with you and allow debate
- Show value in every touch
- Don’t just connect with someone — review their posts, comment, like/share. Is this what you do when you use other social platforms in your personal life?
- Do not be afraid to comment on an industry piece that isn’t your own — even share them.
- Tag relevant people that you want to engage in the piece — particularly if you have previously advised you will follow up with them with any relevant content (this eliminates the phone call to say “hey, remember when we talked last year” — this should truly be content that hooks the contact)
- Like and Share your company and peer’s posts. Growing your brand is not a singular play rather a company wide project.
To be social is to truly engage with your prospect where they are. Everyone is calling and emailing. Not everyone is taking the additional time to listen and tell a story through conversation. Time is limited, if you can find a way to get people talking in a way that facilitates new use cases and/or opportunities to collaborate — then everyone wins.
How do you currently use social media to promote your services or products?
What has worked well for you?
What advice would you give to a junior sales professional when it comes to building cadence and rapport with clients?
I would love to gain your insight!
Written by Thomas Springer. Thomas is a Senior Sales Manager at Darwinian Ventures. “Darwinian Ventures is a growth advisory firm for startups and VCs. We offer revenue expertise and execution to help launch new ventures, accelerate existing ventures, and educate venture investors.”
Visit www.Darwinian.com for a free consultation