Posted by Bethany Handy ● January 4, 2016

Getting Started with Social Selling | Basics and Best Practices

Social selling has changed the sales process as we know it.

Salespeople are nearly free of the days of knocking on doors and cold calling.

So you want to use social media to help increase your revenue? Here’s how to get started in planning your path to success.Getting_Started_with_Social_Selling_-_Basics_and_Best_Practices.jpg

Establish your social media presence

There are multiple social media platforms and most are easy to use and let you create an account for free. You should set up compelling profiles on sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google +. Post photos and content that speak to your ideal customer persona. Pay close attention to keywords that may attract potential buyers

Find the right people

Proactive is the name of the game in finding potential customers. Establish yourself as an active member of each social media site. It is important to create trust and authority with possible buyers before delivering the pitch.

No one wants a salesperson to immediately bombard them with e-mails, phone calls and messages. Think of this stage as “courting” or campaigning to build a relationship and trust. Keep in mind that even if they do not buy immediately, it does not mean they won’t buy later.

Engage

Approach your social media relationships the same way you would approach human ones. Avoid becoming a machine and spamming your clients. Participate in discussions by providing relevant information to help build relationships. Tweet, like, share or comment on important topics, but keep your comments human and sincere.

Watch your social streams and feeds closely and you will find ways to assist potential customers before they ask. By monitoring news feeds you will pick up on trends and hot topics. You can reach out to buyers via private message, e-mail or connection requests. These emails and messages should be sincere, inviting and convincing for the recipient. Nothing gets deleted faster than a pushy, mass sales message.

Measure results

Your results don’t need to be measured in how many times you dialed the phone, or the number of meetings you landed. Measuring social selling results can be tricky, but it’s important to monitor trends so your salespeople can adapt.

The size of your social network and the actions they take can be one indicator of a dominant social media presence. The interactions your audience has with the content you share can tell you what is missing the mark and what is really working for you. Did they share your post or respond to your tweet? 

Here are a few things to evaluate that will help you refine your social selling skills:

  • What social platform do you see the most interaction from your audience?
  • What types of posts are getting the most attention?
  • What day and time do you see the most engagement? 

You can also track your Klout score – it will be a number from 1-100 – to measure your social media presence. LinkedIn also offers social selling index (SSI) which ranks a salesperson’s proficiency.

Social selling has revolutionized sales. It’s a powerful force in digital marketing. Don’t get left behind in the cold-calling era. Start creating those profiles and watch your business boom.

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