Recent meetings have helped me better understand the social selling juggernaut.
Learning #1 Social Selling is for everyone whether you are a person trying to build your own micro business or work for the world’s leading corporations.
Learning #2 I learned from a top social selling practitioner it is harder to convince people aged 38+ of the power of Social Selling. Disclosure: I passed that age decades ago so please no accusations of ageism.
Learning #3 Marketing budgets move ‘online’. Why? Because that is where buyers have gravitated to so as a seller you need to be online and that is a place that many sellers feel uncomfortable and often ill-equipped. See #4.
Learning #4 You know the saying ‘first impressions count’. Well your customer’s first impression used to be when you rocked up in person. No more the case as customers judge sellers based on their LinkedIn profile.
Learning #5 Your first impression is your online persona so forget the job title that you think makes you super important and pivot to make it buyer centric. As a seller – think ‘output’ (define your value in the eyes of a customer) – use human language no corporate speak and come across as a rounded person so say something that is personal and displays human warmth.
Learning #6 The two top social channels for B2B are Twitter and LinkedIn. Many people use FaceBook and it is the ‘person’ behind the business face of LinkedIn but use the information you share and information you find about others on Facebook wisely in B2B conversations. Used wisely it can create create a bond through mutual interests, for example in sport or music, but be careful not to be creepy.
Learning #7 Say something. There are 360M+ people on LinkedIn yet fewer than 1% publish any content. When you say something you get to demonstrate your value and create an impression see #4.
Learning #8 LinkedIn email has a 93% rejection rate. Think about it, you send an email, the recipient goes to view your LinkedIn profile, oh oh, blatant seller, nothing much of interest to me. Delete. Read #5.
Learning #9 Sales stop fighting your Marketing team you are one unit. Stop relying on them for your leads and figure out how you mould their focus (Read #3) with your own ‘influence marketing’ (Read #7).
Learning #10 HR budgets are going toward customised training in use of LinkedIn so go get help (read # 4, 5, 6, 7, 8). If they tell you there is no budget then flag that to senior management as HR are ‘out of touch’. Finally #11
Learning #11 Just as IT skills are taken for granted now, increasingly a seller’s social credentials will be under examination by employers. And guess where they will look first? #4
While I wrote this I have to thank many people that I met recently and contributed their experience to my understanding of this social selling juggernaut.