The Bee Gee’s 1977 crooning Saturday Night Fever love song “How Deep Is Your Love” is great inspiration for using social selling to deepen great customer relationships! If Tony Manero (i.e., John Travolta’s character) was selling paint today in his father’s store, he’d be using social media to ‘deepen his love’ with his customers … instead of ‘dancing with them’. Too many sales executives use old-school phone calls and emails to keep up customer relationships!
So you have to ask yourself, do YOU need to use social media or social selling if you already have closed a sale or only work on selling to accounts that use many of your products? Do you want to deepen your ‘love’ with them? That was a fantastic question asked by a sales executive during a session where I was rolling out our new social selling program at SAP, 100 Minutes Of Social Selling.
Face it. People consume content differently than they did 5 years ago. They are using Twitter as their news feed, YouTube to understand how to do things, LinkedIn to vet ideas with peers, and blogs and communities to understand and learn others’ points of view. Your customers are people, so you need to figure out how to leverage this new consumption behavior. Gone are the days of only sharing content with your customers over the phone and on email!
It’s important for every sales-professional to use social selling strategies. Even if they have a great relationship with an account there is always an opportunity to “deepen the love”. No, there is no true prospecting or cold calling that you need to do since you have an established key account. However, like Tony Manero’s mother said, “you need to make yourself relevant in new and different ways because your competition is doing just that!”
Your customers are evolving with the way they consume content and the way they self-educate. Forrester reported in their July, 2013 study that 81% of B2B decision-makers use communities and blogs, 73% use LinkedIn and 42% use Twitter.
Recommended for YouWebcast: Growth at a Scale Up: How to Grow When You're No Longer a Startup
5 Ways To Deepen Your Love With Your Customers With Social Selling
Take a look at these 5 easy-to-learn ‘moves’ to get closer with your clients:
- Direct Message Links. Use Twitter to send a direct message (DM) with a link to an article. If your clients use Twitter, then this link will non intrusively break through their communication clutter.
- “CC” Them On Tweets. Add their Twitter handle at the end of an interesting and relevant tweet. Mentioning your current clients in a tweet with a link gives them a subtle nudge that you are thinking about their needs and interests.
- Share Their Tweets And Blog Posts On Twitter. Show them some social media love by retweeting their message and adding your two cents to it to “underline your point”, if there is one to be made. If your customer blogs, regularly tweet a link to their posts to help them build their followers. This syndication is always appreciated by bloggers!
- Leverage Their Blog Posts. Comment on your customer’s blog to have a conversation with them in a way that is not based on email.
- Use LinkedIn. Share a link to a relevant blog on your LinkedIn profile in a shared LinkedIn group, via Twitter.
If you need to fine-tune your social selling Twitter, LinkedIn or blogging skills, please check out this advice to:
- Creating an effective tweet that is sure to be seen by your clients
- Connecting with your client with a retweet
- Building the perfect blog post
- Using LinkedIn invites to deepen relationships within an account
Because you have a solid relationship with you client, does not mean they want you to call them every other day or have you be one of their 300 daily emails. Social media can help you stay relevant, consultative and in touch without being “that sales person”. Remember what Tony Manero would say about staying alive in today’s social selling world, “Quit the jive talking on the phone with your clients! You should be dancing with them with social media to deepen your love!”