In this world full of “get rich quick” and “lose 20 pounds in two weeks” fads, we’re taught to believe that speed is key. It’s no longer how well you can accomplish something, but how fast you can do it. And while the actual efficacy of these fads are questionable, there’s something undeniably exciting about the idea of being able to achieve or master something in such a short amount of time. Which is why, from the outset, social selling may seem frustrating thus the need for these social selling tips. There is no instant formula. Developing relationships through social networks can be inherently time-consuming. As you begin your sales prospecting process leveraging social networks, you may think longingly back to the time when cold calling was the norm. After all, it was quick. It was easy. And it used to work pretty effectively. Does it work as effectively today?
The research shows, overwhelmingly, that it is not nearly as effective. According to HubSpot, only 1% of cold calls actually result in meetings, and 90% of B2B decision makers don’t respond to cold sales outreach. Let’s not sugarcoat it: the cold call needs to be augmented to achieve your sales revenue targets. But that doesn’t mean you need to panic at the notion of spending thousands of hours crafting your social selling strategy. With some thoughtful planning, you can boost your social selling game in no time. Here are 4 social selling tips and tricks to help you more effectively reach your buyer.
1. Revamp your LinkedIn profile
Listen to me very closely on this one… Whatever you do –
DO NOT engage in online or offline sales prospecting, whether that’s through social selling, emailing prospects or even placing a phone call, until you have fixed your personal and professional branding problem. Here’s why – I’m going to bet that:
How do I know this? Because you treat your LinkedIn profile like it’s your resume! It’s time to clear this misconception up once and for all. If you are in Sales or Marketing, or you touch the customer in a pre or post sales capacity then –
Your LinkedIn profile and your resume are two entirely different entities.
In other words, while you can feel free to mention how many times you’ve met quota or were the recipient of the President’s Club award on your LinkedIn Profile, you need to focus on creating a buyer-centric RESOURCE page. Ensure from your Headline down to Advise for Contacting that your profile showcases to your buyer what business problem you can help them solve, who you have done this for in the past, and what the benefits were. And while you’re editing your profile, might as well update your main photo with a picture of your smiling face, too.
Here are two resources to help you:
2. Spend 60 minutes each day figuring out how to reach the right people
I encourage all of my clients to follow the minimum 30-30-30 rule. Spend 30 minutes in the morning, 30 minutes in the afternoon, and 30 minutes (see point 3) in the evening every day figuring out how to engage, connect and feed the right people. My guess is this effort will quickly turn to 60-60-60 which is what most of my students say they spend after seeing the results!
LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator is an amazingly helpful tool that helps you build relationships with the right prospects. Repeat after me – “if my company does not purchase LinkedIn Sales Navigator for me, I will be my own CEO and do it myself!” Do not for a second think you can leverage LinkedIn’s free or Premium tool. First, they are changing the functionality this year and will water it down and second you only in my opinion can do prospecting right with Sales Navigator.
3. Spend 30 minutes liking, sharing, and commenting your prospect’s content each day
One of the pillars of LinkedIn’s social selling index, (which, by the way, is a super helpful barometer for measuring your social selling skills and execution), is to engage with insights. And engage with insights, you shall!
It’s no secret that in work and in life, people like being listened to. So once you’ve taken the time to build your own professional profile and identified buyers you’d like to connect with, do your due diligence and keep your ear to the ground regarding their questions, concerns, and ideas. This is called social listening—the process of monitoring conversations online to understand what customers & buyers are saying about a brand and industry. By engaging in social listening, you will be more informed when you reach out to prospects, and will subsequently build stronger business relationships. Again, that’s the power of tools like LinkedIn Sales Navigator or Owler.
By liking, commenting, and sharing relevant content that your prospects share on LinkedIn and Twitter, you will position yourself as a respected leader in your industry. Better yet, if you are consistent, your prospect will think of you and want to call you when they need a problem solved.
4. Use your bathroom time wisely every day
Oh come on, let’s be honest here. You bring your iPhone into the bathroom, and so do your buyers! Might as well make productive use of that time. The thing is, growing your sales pipeline is a time investment. Mastering social selling must be part of that investment, and if you’re short on time to begin with, you need to get crafty.
After all, the final (and perhaps most crucial) component of building out your social selling strategy still awaits, which is to figure out how to leverage your existing relationships so you can build new ones. According to Corporate Executive Boards recent research, typical B2B buying decisions involve, on average, 6.8 decision makers. So once you’ve made one strong connection at a given company, ask your contact for a warm introduction to other decision makers. The fun has only just begun!
By incorporating these four social selling tips & strategies into your daily routine and budgeting your time accordingly, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a social selling pro.