For many companies social selling is still relatively new. It’s definitely picking up speed in the industry but some would argue that it’s not yet in full swing. We’re aiming to make social selling real for everyone.
As more and more professionals get their feet wet in social selling they’re finding themselves in seemingly uncharted waters.
On the surface it seems pretty straightforward, simple even. So why are many successful sales professionals struggling to find their sweet spot in social selling?
The answer lies in the habitual attention they pay to relationships. The most successful social sales pros know that relationships are the key to success. Even more, it’s the relationship that matters most in the sales process and growth of their organization.
Here is a list of relationship habits that will help anyone strengthen and establish a successful social selling strategy:
1. Talk Less, Listen More
You’re probably familiar with the power of talking less and listening more in your own personal relationships. This tactic is just as powerful in sales. It’s the moments when we quiet our need to pitch and truly listen to our customers that we are able to make meaningful connections. These connections improve client experiences and strengthen client retention, increase referrals, and boost satisfaction.
2. Transparent & Blunt Honesty
This can be a challenging trait to develop, but it’s effective. Being able to stand your ground and own issues in the face of clients and colleagues demonstrates a sense of confidence and credibility that is easy to respect. Successful sales people who’ve honed this trait – and welcome the same from their clients – are better positioned to develop transparent and open relationships where both parties are comfortable sharing and discussing anything.
3. Less Small Chat – More Meaningful Discussions
Relationships between sales pros and clients that are rooted in mutual understanding and meaningful experiences are longer lasting and more profitable. Full stop.
The best sales people don’t talk about the weather with their clients. Instead, they talk about what they can do to help them or what they can do to solve a problem. Even if the discussion is not about work, it’s always about something that the other side actually cares about.
4. They Get Excited About Finding A Solution
Successful sales people are rarely bored. They seek out new opportunities to help their clients achieve goals and solve problems. They focus less on status quo and more on finding answers to pains and solutions to challenges.
5. Always Taking A Proactive Approach
There’s no downtime for successful social sales professionals. Like all relationships, these people understand that a client relationship takes work. Rather than playing a reactive role, they anticipate new opportunities and proactively share interesting content and new ideas with their clients on a regular basis.
If you’re struggling to find your place in the social sales arena, try refocusing your attention to your relationships and start developing some of these relationship habits that many social sales pros live and breathe.
Thinking about your own social sales success, what are some relationship habits that you swear by?
No. 3 is SO wrong! Small talk is how people build relationships. Skip the small talk and people think you are cold and only interested in the sale, not them. Bad, bad advice…
I’d agree with Chris. Having several years of sales experience, the more genuine relationships come from building relationships through everyday conversation. Opening up your vulnerable side to clients shows humility and a human side that a ‘sales terminator’ wouldn’t be able to do. A mutual helping relationship from the client and sales person is the best kind of relationship. Think about it, with all of your best relationships, are they one sided? Nope. Always mutual. People naturally like to help one another, as it makes self worth more prevalent.
GREAT synopsis, Rob!
Solution Selling + Social Selling is a recipe for success.
Add value immediately in creative and compelling ways and *minimize* the “chit-chat.” :-)
Rob, what does “social selling” have to do with this? Everything you have listed is good advice, though I lean away from #3 as others have. Each point you make is simply good selling practice and has been since way before “social selling” was ever uttered. Relationship is still the key, and the golden rule is always appropriate. Social platforms are simply the tools that can enhance good selling practices. Enough of the hype of social selling.