Social Selling, like most things in life, is a marathon, not a sprint and you should act accordingly. Social Selling Techniques are about making an investment today that will generate sales in the next month, quarter or year. But for companies or people just starting out, let’s talk about how to begin and where should you put your sales effort.
The Social Selling Process
The most important thing you have to understand about social selling is that it’s a process… and you have to work that process every single day. If you’re just starting out, don’t spend hours a day… instead, schedule 15-20 minutes each day against focused social selling efforts. As you find more success and become more adept, schedule additional time as appropriate.
But whatever you do, make sure you do a little bit each day. That is the key to leveraging social selling to increase sales.
What’s The Right Type of Social Selling Activity?
We get this question a lot during our Social Sales Training workshops. And honestly, the answer is… it depends. If you’re a solopreneur, especially in the knowledge industry (CPA, Lawyer, Marketing, etc) then your activity types are going to be very different than say a salesperson at a company.
Primarily Social Selling Programs are powered by one of two types of activity — content curation or content creation.
Content Curation is simply the act of sourcing helpful, valuable information that your prospective customers will care about and thank you for sharing. There are many avenues for sharing and you may choose one or more depending on your particular sales situation.
But the key thing to remember is that content curation is faster and you can more easily link your name with specific knowledge or a speciality.
So, if you’re a front line salesperson, curation is probably just fine for your social selling needs. Likely the folks on your marketing team will take care of any content creation duties required to power your social selling program.
However, to move from knowledgable to knowledge master you really have to actually create content to maximize social selling’s impact on your company’s sales.
So if you’re a consultant, CPA, lawyer or any person who sells knowledge and ability to clients, then you’re going to have to move into content creation at some point. It’s the production of unique, intelligent content that truly positions you as a “thought leader” or “the go-to” person/firm in an industry. And that position is what makes you TOMP, which leads to increased sales.
And while there are a few business authors out there making real money from their book(s), the vast majority hold no illusions of becoming profitable authors. They wrote their books because it’s the ultimate authority statement. Now they’re introduced as the person who wrote the book on [insert subject here]. See how that works? See how that would lead to a shorter sales process or better conversion rates?
Whether you’re curating or creating content, you need to develop highly repeatable processes to share that content with your sales prospect universe. Here’s a couple of easy ways that work great for both curated and created content.
Social Selling Content Sharing Tips
Email Newsletters like our — Insight & Inspiration… everything you should be reading but didn’t — can serve as a category cliff notes for sales prospects in your vertical. These kinds of emails lend themselves to curation, but there is no reason you can’t also blend in your own created content too. In fact, you can even highlight that created content or offer it up as bonus content.
Thought You’d Find This Interesting emails. Honestly, these are probably the most effective tool I’ve ever used. Unlike an email newsletter, you don’t just blast this to anyone. Instead, you hand select the folks that you feel are mid-funnel or further.
Why be so selective? Because to make this social selling technique really work you have to understand the sales prospects’ information needs at a deeper level. That way, when you run across a great article or research deck, you can quickly find everyone in your CRM that would value the content you just found. Then quickly send all of them a simple text only email highlighting why you thought they’d find it interesting and attaching whatever you’ve found.
It’s a great sales prospecting technique because it lets you scale the time you spend looking for and reading good information across multiple sales prospects.
Humane #SwipeFile, this is less of a technique and more of an outcome. If you become known as THE resource for all information regarding your category, folks will eventually just reach out to you to see if you “have any info about… insight into… or articles about…” whatever they need to know. And that is a built in lead generation machine.
Need Social Selling Strategy or Training?
Every day, we’re helping companies craft customized social selling programs that grow their sales. Just drop us a line and we can talk.