For the first time in Sales History, technology is out there to help us sell better. It is also there to help buyers buy better. It is not just about the product that’s being sold or acquired as much as it is about the people transacting. This is probably just one of the reasons why #SocialSelling has grown so rapidly as a methodology. The last time I was asked about what this new method really is, I remember answering the following:
It is technology that helps both buyers and sellers get what they want.
I know, it might feel like a bit of an overstatement to you if you’re not coming from the IT world as I am. #SocialSelling wouldn’t be possible without the technology that allows you as a sales person, to connect with your customers. It is not just about that though. As a methodology it was built upon past ones, meaning it takes techniques and milestones that were already there before it. These elements are common to all sales methods and yet they may appear new to the eyes of the younger sales rep or the careless one.
As you #GoSocial, keep in mind that the biggest impact technology has had has been around speed and immediacy / real time. Basically put: #SocialSelling is not something you do once, but rather something you start doing and only stop when you stop selling.
Do not let your Personal Brand die.
Most people starting the journey into #SocialSelling go through this. Once they’ve built a nice profile and have taken a good picture, they basically never touch it again. The most common (and wrong) belief is that once you update your profile, you’ve successfully built a powerful brand. Nothing farther from the truth. Getting your profile right is just the first baby step into actually building your brand. Once you started, you can’t stop though. It doesn’t mean you need to constantly change things in your profile. It means you need to expand it. Simple things like adding rich / multimedia content, getting recommendations, posting your own articles. That builds a stronger brand, in time than a nice profile picture.
Do not spam.
Amazingly enough, this still happens a lot. I can’t count how much SPAM I get today, even with privacy and SPAM filters on. That’s not #SocialSelling. That’s not even selling if you ask me. I like to think of SPAM this way: every unwanted mail or notification I get is an opportunity to buy…something that I won’t buy. SPAM affects your credibility as a sales rep. It makes you look like you don’t care about the other person. Sending out something that you weren’t requested to equals to not knowing your customer. It’s 2017, and customers care that you care even more than they did before. Why show them then, that you just don’t by sending them non-customized, non-requested and definitely not useful content?
Do not hide.
The days of the mystery are over. You need to be visible. It doesn’t mean you need to show your cards before a meeting, but you can’t hide. A decade ago, getting the first meeting with a new customer was still a mix of luck and secret seduction. If you played your cards right, your potential customer would let you in and then you pitched. That’s over. You are as visible to them as they are to you, so hiding or playing mystery is off the table. The reason is simple: as we’ve become hiper-visible through technology, not being out there equals to not wanting to be found. That is a tactical error: the first thing a buyer will do after you contact them is trying finding you online. If they can’t find you, most buyers won’t let you in.
Think of it this way: #SocialSelling is not a new way of doing business. It is how business is done now, which is why it’s not a thing you do once. Unless you want to go out of business of course.