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social selling

What is Social Selling or Relationship Selling?

What if there was a magic wand you could wave and find out what your target audience is thinking?

Well, my friends, there is!!!

It’s called Social Selling (and known as Relationship Selling), and it’s a sales tactic that is seeing increased use to help salespeople find solutions for their intended audiences.

For starters, what is Social Selling?

As defined by Wikipedia, Social selling is the process of developing relationships as part of the sales process. Today this often takes place via social networks such as LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and Pinterest, but can take place either online or offline. Examples of social selling techniques include sharing relevant content, interacting directly with potential buyers and customers, personal branding, and social listening. Social Selling is gaining popularity in a variety of industries, though it is used primarily for B2B (business-to-business) selling or highly considered consumer purchases

To confirm, Social Selling (one-to-one relationships) is NOT the same as social media marketing (one-to-many broadcasts).  Social selling is the strategic use of social media to find, start relationships with, understand and nurture sales prospects.  It is the act of listening to the cues of the prospect, and then reacting in a self-less way to help elevate the status of the prospect.

What are the pitfalls of social selling?

  1. It can be time-consuming – especially if you’ve created a larger target list.
  2. Being on every social media platform – by trying to cover off all the social media platforms, you’ll run yourself ragged and untargeted.
  3. No consistency to your content – if you don’t create content or engage with your prospects consistently, your efforts may be wasted.  As the old adage goes… “out of sight, out of mind”.
  4. Reverting to social media marketing – remember, social selling is a one-to-one engagement.  By creating mass messages, you’ve moved from social selling to social media marketing, and will lose that one-to-one connection that you’ve started to build.

How do you social sell?

So how does one get started in the act of social selling?

  1. Ensure your social media profiles are complete and up-to-date – by having a robust profile, you stand a greater chance of attracting the attention of your prospect when you start engaging with them.  If LinkedIn is one of your platforms of choice, my LinkedIn Profile Optimization Course may be a good solution for you.
  2. Create a list of clients and prospects – by keeping the list small to start, you create a better chance of success.  Be strategic in your approach by Defining Your Ideal Client
  3. Start with one platform – because social selling is time-consuming, start listening on one platform at a time.  Once you have that platform mastered, consider adding another platform to your social selling strategy.  LinkedIn is a great place to start, but you can start on any that you have a good comfort level with.
  4. Create a strategy – map out a plan for each prospect, including timelines and goals for engagement.
  5. Listen for cues – find your prospects on social media and start to listen for information.  Through their posts, their comments and their engagement, you may learn of some problems that need to be solved, upcoming event notifications, and questions they commonly ask or answer.
  6. Provide relevant information – now that you’ve picked up on some cues, you can engage with the prospect in a relevant way.  Reach out to them with resources, affirmations, or entertainment to start the engagement
  7. Track your progress – create some goals and targets around your strategy, and check in weekly on progress.  You may find some commonalities in the success stories and be able to adapt your strategy through the process.

I’ve created this bang-up FREE worksheet to help you get organized and get started on your strategy – you can download the worksheet here.









Photo by Tim Bennett on Unsplash

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