Social Selling: Leveraging Your Social Network

The fundamental practice of cold calling is one of the most used sales techniques across the nation, but according to Keller Research Center at Baylor University, only 1% of cold calls eventually become opportunities. Through the explosion of social media outlets over the last 20 years, the concept of social selling has emerged as companies are learning how to efficiently reach a much broader audience to sell its products. You ask yourself, what is social selling? Social selling is the process of developing relationships as part of the sales process. This takes place on social websites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

The million-dollar question to ask yourself and your business is, what can we do differently? How can we improve our sales pitches? How can we make the process more enjoyable for both our prospects and our employees? The answer is social selling. Based on a 2014 Forrester Research report, social sellers found a 66% greater quota attainment than using traditional prospecting techniques. It was found that nearly 69% of Facebook, Twitter, and other social channels lead to opportunities. It has also been found that 75% of business to business leaders use social media in their decision-making process, while buyers who use social media have 84% larger budgets compared to buyers who do not use social media.

How to implement Social Selling?

1. Build Trust

No one wants to be the stereotypical, slimy salesman. And no one wants to deal with that salesman. Try to build trust with your potential customer by building a relationship built on truth and honesty. Sell your product by telling them about your product and the potential benefits it can bring to their life. At the end of the day, it is all about the relationship between the customer and the company.

2. Add Value

It has been found that 74% of buyers choose the salesperson who was first to add value and insight. Sales professionals who were able to add value saw five times greater engagement with their potential buyers. Tell them something they don’t know or something they would want to know about your product and how it can impact their life for the greater.

3. Sell Yourself

Like anything else, it always comes down to the relationship built between the salesman and the customer. Sell yourself just as much as the product. Most of the time, people will buy a product solely based on the person selling it rather than the product itself.

4. Be Personable

In order for the potential client to feel comfortable with a stranger over the phone, it is very important that the prospect can relate to you. The more the client can relate, the easier it will be to sell a product to them. Don’t be afraid to show who you really are as a person, not just a salesperson.

5. Give Space

If you do all of the above and still don’t get a close, the outcome can go of two ways, either the salesperson keeps pushing until the client gets fed up and hangs up or the client gives more thought buying the product and calls back in a given time. The only way for the client to buy the product at this point is to give them space and let them decide if they want to spend money on your product or not.

In the end, the sale is about the product and the seller. The customer has to be able to trust both. Social selling provides you with an edge because the customer already knows you, the seller. Leveraging your social network can give you an advantage over calling new, potential clients cold.

Brad Meccariello – Content Creator

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