Social Selling certainly is a “buzz” word that’s been circulating for the past few years.
Social selling is the process of developing relationships as part of the sales process. Today this often takes place via social networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest, but can take place either online or offline.
Note within the first 8 words…“Social selling is the process of developing RELATIONSHIPS“.
In other words, it’s not about pushing your agenda. It’s about listening, engaging and providing value so that you can convert business.
As the world’s largest business network, LinkedIn is naturally the key to Social Selling.
- According to LinkedIn, salespeople who excel at social selling are creating more opportunities and are also 51% more likely to hit quota.
- 1 billion names are Googled every day, and LinkedIn is one of the highest ranking Social Media sites when someone Googles your name.
- More than 80% of us Google a product/service/person before we make a purchase or before a meeting. Can you think of a time you didn’t Google?
- 83% of B2B buyers are receptive to outreach from vendors if the interactions were relevant and contextual.
So, if people are researching you, what is the 1st impression you want them to see?
Using Social Media to position yourself as an expert and converting higher-paying clients can be simplified into a 3-step process:
STEP #1) CREATE a strong profile
One that effectively tells your brand story and dovetails your business brand as well. Who are you? Whom do you help? What kinds of results do you produce?
STEP #2) CONNECT with quality people
I can’t stress this enough. Be strategic and build quality relationships. You don’t want a database of names you don’t know. You want to deepen relationships with clients, prospective clients, referrals. If you want to connect with your dream client – reach out and send a personalized connection request!
STEP #3) CONVERSE with your connections and potentially CONVERT business
- Conversation, engagement and putting the “SOCIAL” into Social Media is key.
- Reach out by sharing valuable and relevant insights to your network.
- Look for key triggers and signs that prospective clients might be ready to purchase your products/services. Developing relationships BEFORE they are ready to buy is one of the best ways you’re the go-to resource when they are looking for a new supplier.
- Focus on connecting with decision-makers.
Can you measure your effectiveness with your LinkedIn profile development? Why YES!….Yes you can!
LinkedIn has recently announced that you can access YOUR Social Selling Index (SSI) for FREE: https://www.linkedin.com/sales/ssi?trk=sem_lss_gaw_US_Search_Social+Selling
LinkedIn’s recipe for Social Selling success is quite similar to mine (above) but LinkedIn has one additional step
(in my formula, 3 & 4 are under the same step):
- Establish your professional brand
- Find the right people
- Engage with insights
- Build relationships
And as a result of creating a strong LinkedIn profile, connecting with quality people and having conversations, you’ll be more likely to convert clients.
A snapshot of what LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index (SSI) looks like:
Click here to #GetYourSSI and let me know how well your profile is performing.
(If you need some help getting your LinkedIn profile ranked higher, please reach out and connect.)
Just remember that wherever you are on your journey to success is exactly where you’re supposed to be.
Taking action today will help you in the long run, even if it’s one step at a time.
Leslie Hughes is a LinkedIn Optimization Specialist, Professor of Social Media, Corporate Trainer and Principal of PUNCH!media
Leslie was called a “Social Media Guru” by CBC Radio and has been working in digital marketing since 1997 and founded PUNCH!media in 2009. PUNCH!media clients include The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada, Guardian Life Insurance Company of America and TVO.
PUNCH!media’s goal is to empower through education and help executives gain confidence in their online presence so you convert higher-paying clients.