Inherent in the term ‘Social Selling’ is relationship building, lead nurturing, lead farming. The way these are termed may differ as per different individuals, but they mean one and the same thing. Using and leveraging social media platforms to identify prospects, connect with them, engage with them in conversations and then build a relationship with them before taking it offline as well.
Social media has totally revolutionised the way we sell – yes, even in the more complex B2B industry. It has changed the dynamics of demand and supply in a way that has not been imagined before. In this whole new yet not-so-new world, ‘Who Blinks First’ has also changed – it could be the buyer who hunts the seller or vice versa.
A lot indeed can happen over Social Media!
Let’s do a quick sprint on how the Social Media Selling Process works and what one needs to do, to be good at it.
- Identify the right Social Media Platforms for your product.
One quick way of picking the right platforms is to find out – Where is your customer present, online? What are his favourite haunts online when he is wearing his professional hat? It is also important to be aware of his favourite haunts beyond his 9 to 5 garb. Once you know this, you will be able to pick the top 3 social media channels/platforms he frequents. That’s where you connect with him. For instance, for a majority of B2B companies, a professional platform works better – such as LinkedIn.
- Work on your profile on that platform. Build a good profile.
A profile on any Social Media platform needs a lot of working upon. Your profile is the face you show to the public. So while you need to be careful you are not shouting from the rooftops about your accomplishments, you must note all your accomplishments accurately. Being honest and transparent while working on your profile, has its own merits. Do not forget to have a nice formal, professional photograph uploaded.
- Research your prospects
Do some research on the people you would like to connect with. See their profiles, take your time researching, be professional, yet creative and original when you send out that request for a connect. Among the millions on that platform, you need to give him a strong reason to want to accept your request to connect.
- Keep your connections engaged
Keep your connections engaged in conversations. Be regular in updates – this helps your contacts stay updated with the happenings in your company and life.
- Listen, acknowledge and applaud.
Do all of these, as the case may be. Do read your contact’s updates. Comment on those acknowledges his accomplishments as you read about them, share an article that may be of interest to him and applaud when the situation demands. These things help you stay visible in his mind and ensure recall at a later stage when you may need it. This also sets the stage for your prospect to develop a ‘liking’ towards you – the first building block of trust and a long-term relationship.
- Take it offline, too.
When you have developed a fair engagement mutually, seek a meeting or a phone call with him. This is when you move your purely online relationship to offline.
- Keep it going
From here onwards, keep up the engagement online and offline.
Social Media Selling has made it very convenient to ensure that we skip the cold calling or legwork of the old days and connect with our prospects in no time at all. It has made it very convenient to form a connect and build a relationship. And if we were to go by Social Media Analytics, these are relationships that have greater chances of converting into hardcore sales.