Social selling techniques and activities will help you drastically improve and warm up connections, emails, LinkedIn InMails, Twitter DMs, videos, and phone calls. Try these 10 strategies and see your results improve:
- Build your personal brand and optimize your digital profiles on major social networks. Own your online reputation. For example, see The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for LinkedIn [Infographic] by Koka Sexton. To increase your connect-and-response rates, you need to represent yourself accurately as a credible authority, resource, and trusted advisor. Furthermore, buyers trust peer recommendations—so ask folks who know your work to endorse you online. The “social proof” of what others say about you is more impressive than what you say about yourself.
- Do research to gain insightful business intelligence on your target prospects and organizations via their Websites, About Us pages, biographies, press/news pages, blogs, annual reports, etc.
- Set up Google Alerts in order to be on top of industry, organization, and prospect trigger events such as new funding, growth, job changes, relocations, new hires, new product and/or service launches, etc.
- Do more research, reading, and listening. Follow and engage with your prospects and organizations on their preferred social media channels such as LinkedIn, LinkedIn Groups, Twitter, Quora, Google+, Facebook, YouTube, and other vertical-specific forums. Get familiar with their interests and personalities. Interact, vote their answers up, thoughtfully comment, and share their content as appropriate.
- Tactfully leverage shared network connections, influencers, and relationships to gain introductions to prospects. In relation to asking for help, always be giving and generous with your time. Pay it forward and help others with no expectations.
- Warmly, politely, and genuinely compliment or congratulate a prospect’s organization, strategy, product, or service via email, LinkedIn InMail, Twitter DM, direct mail, video, phone message, or live call. To capture attention in seconds, demonstrate that you’ve done your homework on them and their organization by dropping cogent data points.
- Educate prospects by sharing content relevant to them that you, others in your organization, or even someone outside your organization created. Provide value and help your suspect contacts improve. For more tips when leveraging your own organization’s demand generation content see my post, 7 Tips for More Effective B2B Demand Generation, Lead Generation, Marketing, & Sales.
- Navigate organizational hierarchies and create allies along the way. Communicate with prospects and their staff to gain more business intelligence and advice on how to influence, build trust, and be relevant to the primary decision maker or committee.
- Ask people you meet (or have meaningful phone conversations with) to connect on digital networks with personalized requests. Don’t use the standard generic request to connect; write a personal note.
- Social Selling isn’t only about prospecting or lead generation at the top of the sales funnel. Social selling should be used during every single stage of the sales cycle and even after a customer relationship is well established. Continue to educate, advise, and be a resource throughout the buyer’s journey.
Bonus 1: Social Selling Twitter List:
Subscribe to my public Twitter List: Social Selling and Marketing Jedi Council.
“Much to learn, you still have…” Yoda
- Ann Handley @MarketingProfs
- Brian Fanzo @iSocialFanz
- Bryan Kramer @bryankramer
- David Meerman Scott @dmscott
- Dharmesh Shah @dharmesh
- Gary Vaynerchuk @garyvee
- Jack Kosakowski @JackKosakowski1
- Jamie Shanks @jamietshanks
- Jay Baer @jaybaer
- Jeb Blount @SalesGravy
- Jeff Sheehan @jeffsheehan
- Jeffrey Gitomer @gitomer
- Jill Konrath @jillkonrath
- Jill Rowley @jill_rowley
- Joe Pulizzi @JoePulizzi
- Jon Ferrara @Jon_Ferrara
- Ken Krogue @kenkrogue
- Kevin Thomas Tully @kevinttully
- Koka Sexton @kokasexton
- Mark Schaefer @markwschaefer
- Neal Schaffer @NealSchaffer
- Shane Gibson @shanegibson
- Ted Rubin @TedRubin
- Tim Hughes @Timothy_Hughes
- Sean Burke @seanburkeh
Bonus 2: An Enlightening Video
Here’s a great and useful social selling YouTube video from the Sales Stack 2015 conference: Top 3 Most Influential Social Sellers on Delivering Value Through Social. Watch Ken Krogue, Koka Sexton, and Jill Rowley discuss the current state of social selling with Jamie Shanks. It’s jam-packed with great information and well worth watching.
For a high-quality sales pipeline, implement these tips (and check out the bonuses!) to grow revenue and gain more prospects, customers, and advocates.