What is the solution? Sales leaders, marketing leaders, and enablement leaders need to look at developing a holistic strategy of how to educate, train, and adopt social selling within their sales enterprise. I’m not just talking about product training on how to use social selling tools. I’m speaking of focusing on social selling technique. It starts with teaching them how to properly brand themselves so they can map their social profiles with the buyer’s journey. That’s a very difficult thing to do because we have never had to socially brand ourselves. We’ve never branded ourselves externally before the sales process started. This has all changed now.
The true challenge is found in creating a social profile that attracts the modern buyer and connects with them on social media in a genuine, personalized way. At M3Jr Growth Strategies that is what we help companies do, and that is what we train their sale reps to do. We are a premier provider of full-service, social selling training and lead development, catering exclusively to sales and marketing professionals. Companies and individuals hire us as we set ourselves apart as the only company of our type that starts with recreating a salesperson’s social brand to attract today’s modern buyer with a search engine optimized LinkedIn profile. Through a LinkedIn profile transformation, the seller creates a connection that fosters a relationship with the buyer and shows the buyer who and how you help. Then, we assist with the development of the organization’s social selling strategy and teach end-users how to engage, connect, and feed their prospective buyers through corporate social selling training and workshops. We also support small businesses and individuals through our customizable private coaching and social media management services.
Q: How can someone with a busy schedule find time to leverage social on top of the daily sales tasks they are currently employing?
A: First, I would like to reframe the question. Sales reps and leaders should not be thinking, “How can I create more time in my very busy schedule?” A better question is, “What are the activities that are producing fruitless results?” You need to eliminate those and adopt strategies that produce better results.
Essentially, what you do today to prospect is the exact same thing that you should do tomorrow, but start leveraging social selling to engage with buyers who are there and willing to engage through social channels. You are replacing the non-productive sales time with potentially more productive social selling time.
Q: What are some things that are supposed to help with social selling, but can actually do more harm than good?
A: As I mentioned earlier, I think one of the biggest mistakes is generic pitches and strategies with no personalization. For example, I recommend that my clients use InMail as a last resort. When used correctly, you can get a 20 to 50 percent response rate. But if you use it like a generic email, your customer can tell that it has not been personally written for them. That could actually hurt you.
Your LinkedIn profile is another often-overlooked sore spot. Most people have it set up as a representation of their expertise for a job-related search. However, if you already have a job and your profile reads like a resume, it can absolutely do more harm than good. You will lose your buyer on the first click into your profile because you are ignoring the opportunity to build your brand.
For a job search, your profile is all about you. Recruiters care about that, but your buyers don’t. Buyers care about what business problem you can solve for them and have you done it before. Finally, they want to know a little more about who you are. You have to make sure your personal and professional social brand, is mapped to the buyer’s journey in order to attract them.
Q: What are the top two questions your clients ask?
A: The first question is: What is your definition of social selling? Social selling is old enough that sales leaders and reps know the term, but new enough that they do not understand the technologies and techniques behind it. So what is the definition? Social Selling is leveraging social networks to help a sales person establish a personal and professional brand, understand their prospects, allow them to relate, and build a relationship that ultimately helps drive sales.
The second question is: How do you prove an ROI? People go straight into the concept of ROI for social selling. You wouldn’t ask that question about cold calls because you consider that to be everyday sales prospecting. Social Selling is a third methodology you just do and add it to cold calls and emails as part of the trifecta of sales prospecting approach. You use all three: social selling, emailing, and cold calling. You want to turn cold calls into lukewarm calls by doing research on both the company and buyer to understand how you can “help” them, instead of “sell” to them.
Often, people ask about ROI because they do not understand what it social selling and how it should be part of a sales reps every day prospecting routine. The ROI for investing in social selling training should not be considered a very big deal; because, it’s simply an alternative way to build a relationship, connect to your prospect, fill the funnel and build your personal or professional brand.Similarly, you wouldn’t ask should I invest in training to teach my reps how to connect with a sales prospect over the phone. You do it because you know you have to do it.
Q: Let’s wrap this up. What is the one thing that a person can do right now to get started making positive changes in their sales strategy?
A: The one thing you can do right now and absolutely must do first is, go to M3Jr.com and click on LinkedIn Profile Transformation. Let us help you transform a professional brand that maps to your buyer’s journey. You’ll need a strong personal brand because no matter how you initially engage with a potential buyer, they will do a LinkedIn or Google search to learn more about you and how you might be able to help.