A few days ago I wrote a short blog after I landed in New York City. It was a piece about the Trifecta that LinkedIn Social Connect 2016 was in my mind: New York + Social Selling + LinkedIn = awesomeness. There is no other City I know where networking is so embedded in people’s life as New York. There’s no other Company that fosters Social Selling better than LinkedIn. And I was given the opportunity to be a part of it.
That was last Monday, 3 days ago. It took me a few days to actually find the right words and write that piece but I got it out on the right day. Little did I know that the following 2 days would come with so many surprises. It turns out I was right in being so excited about this. What I’m taking back home goes far beyond what I brought. Let me give you the highlights.
Everyone is doing Social Selling
We heard it from giants like IBM and other stars like Qualtrics and Genesys. It is amazing to see how committed both of them are to further developing Social Selling as THE way of doing business. They understood Digital Disruption is not just about using Uber or Airbnb: it is about empowering not just your sales teams but your entire sales and marketing ecosystem. Selling is no longer achieved solely by sales people or supported exclusively by marketing. We all get to do it and there’s just not one single way of doing it right. You can go big and invade all social networks, or you can stick to one. You can multi-thread or single-thread…but you’ll end up doing the first one.
It is not just about the tools.
Those only get you half way there. LinkedIn announced a few new features that will make it’s sales solution, the Sales Navigator, practically unique in the industry. Its true power doesn’t reside in the new gadgets they announced, or it’s CRM integration (which makes it a perfect match to almost every Enterprise CRM out there). It’s still the same one thing that made it so great when they first launched it: it still relies on what users do and what users put on their profiles. It’s advanced search and engagement capabilities are amazing, but nothing compares to the fact that information doesn’t come from them, but from users themselves.
It is not about the tools, no matter how cool they are. It is about what you do with the information you get and how you connect the dots. #SocialSelling is more about leveraging you than using new cool toys to find and engage people.
Puzzles and Mysteries: too little or too much information.
A concept Malcom Gladwell, who was a key-note speaker at the conference, shared with the audience was simple and powerful enough to add a new layer meaning to Social Selling. He said:
Too little information makes a puzzle while too much of it creates a Mystery.
Those of us in sales are used to not getting a lot of information before we try to call someone and start a sales conversation. This is why this new phenomena of having too much of it hit us right in the jaw: we don’t know what to do with it. There’s such a thing as “too much info”, which doesn’t really lead to better qualified leads no matter what algorithm you’re running. #SocialSelling is not just about harvesting the info, but rather using just what you need to create a better engagement plan.
And finally, I was named a Social Selling Influencer of 2016. I wasn’t expecting to get as much content as I got in just 2 days, but I definitely had no idea I was going to get an award. There was no ceremony, there was nothing too fancy around it, just a nice video they shot with me and the other influencers, some stats and a nice box with the award that’s shown up above. That made my day, week and full year. People coming to me to take their pictures with me is a new thing. People I’ve never met before shaking my hand and asking me how I do it, that was amazing.
Now that it’s time to pack my bags and go home I keep looking at my notes, at the pictures I took with my phone I realize I am full but still hungry. There’s so much we can still do and learn from #SocialSelling, and so much I didn’t get to see of NYC that I’m stuck in one single thought: I can’t stop.
And neither should you or your sales team. #SocialSelling is not a fancy name for how we sell on-line. It’s not a trend anymore. It’s the way you’ll hit your next million or maybe even billion dollar target.