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5 Things I've Learned From Social Selling

Sales organizations that use social selling as part of their overall selling strategy are most likely to outperform competitors, hit quotas, build long-term business relationships, and get warm referrals. Buyers are more likely to respond to your voicemail or email if they know you. So you need to start being active on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites in order to build connections with influential buyers.

These days, with the changes in buying behaviour, social selling isn’t just a nicety—it’s a requirement. If you want to beat out your competitors and close more deals, you need to be social selling. Period.

Here are five things I’ve learned from social selling that will help you do it right and increase your sales.

1. Self-Education

Customers are now getting on the web to educate themselves about your industry and products and services. You know they’re using social media platforms to gain knowledge, so that’s exactly where you need to be in order to make sure your information is what they’re finding and reading. Being where your buyers are is vital in order to be the one to give them valuable content first, so they can come to trust you as a thought leader in your niche. Half of all leads you’ve identified as qualified aren’t ready to buy, so upload blog posts and join online communities to share your knowledge so they can move down the sales funnel.

2. Relationships

More than 90% of buyers won’t purchase from a stranger. In fact, they won’t even return your cold call if you’re just another sales person in a sea of sales people. In order to close more sales you need to create a presence in the industry. You need to get yourself out there and start making social connections—before you send out that cold call or email. Let buyers get to know you first.

Read more: What is SaaS?

3. Training

You might be tempted to jump on Twitter and Facebook and start conversations with prospective buyers. But the online world has its own etiquette and social rules. Before you start using social sales tools, you need to get some training to ensure you’re using it right. You don’t want to start harassing buyers or advertising your products or services on social media every single day. Your followers might quickly unsubscribe to rid themselves of your annoying behaviour.

4. Be Human

No one wants to start a conversation with a company—they want to talk to a human. Not putting in any effort in your social selling methods and relying on automated messages isn’t going to work. You need to show your buyers that you’re an actual person, so keep your conversations casual, and build the relationship as a person first and not as a sales rep. The goal of this type of selling is to be personal and connect on different levels in order to gain trust and credibility. The last thing you want to do is alienate your prospects by seeming like a robot.

Read more: 7 Ways Lead Nurturing Drives More Sales

5. Put in the Time

For your social selling techniques to be effective, you need to set aside time every day to do it frequently and consistently. Trying to connect with buyers right before a cold call simply because you want something from them isn’t going to fly. That isn’t a true relationship. Building trust and credibility takes time. You need to have an actual strategy in mind and work on it like you would any other selling technique.

The Future of Selling

Social selling isn’t just a hot buzzword. It’s a vital requirement for the future of selling. Impersonal sales pitches and cold calling aren’t working anymore. So you need to get online, get active on social media platforms, and start building real relationships with buyers if you want to stay relevant in the future and grow your business.

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