When you get right down to it, social selling isn’t really about selling. That comes later. Social selling is, first and foremost, about engaging, interacting, discussing, and becoming trusted by the people you hope to sell to.
In a report jointly published by Social Centered Selling and A Sales Guy Consulting, 92% of buyers said they do not respond to emails or voicemails sent by someone they are not aware of. Bottom line is, people just won’t buy from those they don’t trust, and social selling is all about creating that trust in the minds of your prospects.
So how do you do that?
While there are no rules as to how you can build your digital cred, after helping a number of brands create online trust, here’s what we have learned about social selling.
Social selling is not limited to your channels
Your sales team is already aggressively on social media, trying to make sense of it all. They are blasting updates about your latest products, your company picnics, and cute behind-the-scenes images. That’s great, but that’s not social selling because you are still broadcasting, and hoping the audience will engage.
Social selling is about being much more proactive in breaking the frigid layer between buyers and non-buyers. It’s about being where your audience is, whether it is forums, online platforms where you do not have a presence, or even ‘comments’ sections of third-party websites.
Tip: Social monitoring is an essential element of social selling, because that’s how you find out who’s talking about you, and where.
Social selling is a layered process
Generally, there are four major components of social selling.
Planning each step, and understanding when to take the next one is the key. It helps you be prepared to take the next step, whenever it is.
Social selling needs persistence
You can’t expect one witty post or one whacky tweet to get your prospects to like or trust you. Bonding on social media, as in real life, happens organically, and continuously.
You need a dedicated team of socially savvy marketers who will be able to continue the conversation and ensure your prospects continue to become customers, and customers become brand advocates.
Tip: Once you are on a channel, commit to it. Show people you are there for the long haul and will continue to be engaged, and they will trust you more.
Social selling is telling people what they need to hear
According to content marketing platform Kapost, 90% of customers find custom content useful. And not just that, 78% of customers believe that brands providing custom content are more willing to develop a bond with them. Translate the data into action, and the path is clear. Listen to your buyers, find out what they need, and then help them with relevant information or insight. Help them trust you, and you’ll never have to convince them again.