Episode 233: Tenets of Social Selling
In this episode, we’ll explore the “Tenets of Social Selling” to help you connect with potential clients in the digital age. You’ll learn the importance of social listening, personalization, and transforming your online profile to become a valuable resource. By creating content that resonates with your audience, you’ll build trust and credibility.
It’s time to shift your focus from prioritizing the sale to caring about the client’s outcome. Detach from what the prospect is worth to you and attach to what you’re worth to them. Master social selling and achieve success in the digital age – listen now for invaluable guidance.
Welcome to Making Sales Social Live, as we share LinkedIn and Social Selling Training Strategies and Tips that will have an immediate impact on your business. Join Brynne Tillman, and me, Bob Woods, every week, Making Sales Social Live!
Brynne Tillman 00:18
Social selling is about building rapport, developing trust and credibility by being a resource. Understanding that the sales will come when the time is right, no one wants to be pitched. And if you’re selling, particularly on LinkedIn, no one is looking for your solution. However, when you can be a real resource when you can have an impact through the quality of content that you share, and the conversations that you start when they’re ready to buy, you’re the vendor they’re going to choose social listening may be the best way to understand your buyers and their customers prior to reaching out.
One of the most frustrating things I find when I’m in the buyer seat, is when they don’t know anything about me. They haven’t done research. They may have even said that they visited my website. Yet they asked me what is it that you do if you are selling to someone, you need to socially Listen, first, look at their priorities, what is the content that they’re sharing? What are they engaging with? Who recommended that? What does their website say is their specialty? When you understand who they are, prior to the conversation, or prior to even reaching out for the conversation, they know that they were worth the time that you invested time to learn about them and understand their world.
And that helps to earn you the right to get their time being known as the subject matter expert that your prospects come to for guidance and advice when you are continuously sharing resources, reports, economic trends, industry trends, content that talks about what their clients are facing, you are now very important in their world, you are a resource that you want to make sure that everything you are sharing will lead back to your solution, but not with your solution.
So it’s absolutely essential that we are out there providing real value in the world that matters to our buyers. Shift your profile from a resume to a resource.
There is absolutely no question that sales people and entrepreneurs who are responsible for business development are making a huge mistake if their profile is their resume. Your buyers don’t care about the presidents club, or your new great negotiating skills, or even that you’ve hit your goal you know three years in a row. What do they care about,they care about how you can help them. So this shift from resume to resource is about providing value like videos and ebooks and industry trends and reports right inside your profile. So instead of starting your profile around how you can help them actually help them.
I am blown away at how many entrepreneurs, business owners, marketing departments and sales people are constantly bragging about the business that they’re doing. And they’re talking about how they help businesses just like you do X, Y, and Z. And here’s the thing, they don’t care, your buyers don’t care how you’ve helped other people. In fact, often that bragging can turn them off. So the content that you share on LinkedIn should truly be about content that they want to consume. So rather than telling your buyers, how you can help them simply help them provide checklists or insights and implementable actionable things they can do.
Even if they never talked to you, social selling content needs to resonate with the buyer, create curiosity, teach them something new that gets them thinking differently about their current situation, and ultimately creates a compelling moment. So what does that mean? Well, number one, when they are scrolling through content you’ve got to resonate with them. They have to say, “Oh, CEOs, Entrepreneurs, I’m an entrepreneur in telecom,” “Oh That’s me right?” get really granular in your subject line talk about who this content is for needs to create curiosity now that I’m like, caught my attention, this is for me, I’m gonna lean in and say, “Hmm, is this something worth investing my time in?” So creating curiosity is a really important five mistakes telecom entrepreneurs make when prospecting.
Okay, now I’m leaning in, teaching them something new. Right? So these five mistakes, at least one of them has to have them going, “Oh, I didn’t think about that. I never pictured that.” So one mistake is not for the one mistake for these telecom entrepreneurs is not looking at the connections of your clients and asking clients to make referrals and they might go, “I’ve never done that.” Okay. So now I’m gonna have them thinking that I taught them something new. And now they’re thinking differently about how they are currently prospecting.
And then I want to give them an opportunity to engage by creating a compelling moment or reason for them to react, engage, like, comment, connect with me, when all five of these points resonate, create curiosity, teach them something new that gets them thinking differently about their current situation. And we create a compelling moment. So we move them from Lurker to Engager, our content is working for us. So the next time you put out content, put it to the test, share content that your buyers want to consume, not just what you want them to know, we often share content on social media that we think is valuable to our audience, but often it’s about us. We appreciate, we love our mission, our vision.
And quite honestly, your buyers don’t care yet. You’ve got to earn the right for them to care. So what kind of content do we need to share? We need to learn what kind of content our buyers are interested in consuming. So this comes back to a little social listening, a little alerting, a little asking, with the content that you share needs to be engaging from your consumers perspective, not from yours engage 10 times more than you post. Yes, the LinkedIn algorithm is a funny thing. But one thing we know, if you engage 10 times more than you post 10 times more people will see your post.
Capture your genius from client q&a, repurpose it for your network and become the thought leader that attracts, teaches and engages buyers consistently. Q&A When you are on the phone with prospects buyers clients, and they ask you a question and you answer it. It’s fodder for social media. Content and Pitch is a bait and switch. This is so painful. How many of us have been victims of the connected pitch. I know I am almost on a daily basis. Don’t be the victimizer. When you connect with someone, for the first time, be a resource. Look at the content they’ve shared.
Find other content by the same author or on the same topic, and start the conversation as if you were in a room with them. Slow down your outreach to speed up your outcome. This is so important. A lot of us are looking at volume, volume, volume. If I can connect with 100 people a day, then maybe three people will talk to me and of those three people, maybe one person will go into the pipeline and be interested. But we’re missing out on so many opportunities to build rapport and relationships. Treat the person on the other side of the conversation the same way you would if they were on the other side of the table.
Don’t jump into your pitch, really have a conversation and even consider taking it offline. Before you ever talk about what you do to earn the right to get the call just because they connected with you doesn’t mean they want to be bewitched by offering value and insights and resources early on in the conversation that’s impactful to our buyer. They see us as a trusted resource, and they’re much more open to taking our call down the road and care more about the outcome than the sale. This is one of the hardest things for salespeople. They go into a sales call thinking, “Oh, this could be a $10,000 client, this could be a $40,000 contract, and you’re focused on the sale.”
But when you care more about the outcome, you’re serving the client better, you’re building a trusted relationship, and the sale will come and the Commission will come. But also, the long term relationship with the client will come. And that will lead to more conversations on a consistent basis, through introductions and referrals, detach from what the prospect is worth to you, and attach to what you are worth to the prospect. This is absolutely foundational. If we go in with our own agenda, and we don’t learn about their agenda, and focus on helping them solve a problem, then we’re never going to get the opportunity to truly sell the problem, all they care about is how we can help them, not about the Commission’s that we can make.
So detach from it, don’t worry about it, really go in and help them solve their problem, treat the prospect on the other side of the message the same way you would if they were on the other side of the table. That’s a human being on the other side of this message, the same human being you would meet if you were at a conference or a trade show or business card exchange. So why would we treat them like a lead? Instead of a human being? start conversations in meaningful ways, bring impact, and enjoy building the rapport? Don’t ever ask a prospect a question that you can discover on their LinkedIn profile? When you have a meeting with someone instead of saying, “Hey, where are you in the world?” You can say, “Hey, I noticed you’re in the San Francisco area.
I was there a couple of years ago, where are you in that area?” “Oh, Walnut Creek is beautiful there.” Don’t ever ask them what they do, or what their role is, you can learn that on their LinkedIn profile. Use what you learn on their profile to let them know you invested time before this call to learn about them. And then they feel like they matter. And when they feel like they matter. They’re much more open to working with you. Who have you been ignoring, take inventory of your connections and reconnect in a way that matters to them. You can export your connections into an Excel spreadsheet, or search your connections by first degree, industry title and so many other filters.
Yes, in the free LinkedIn, we can do this. And we can start conversations with prospects, old clients, referral partners, Centers of Influence vendors that sell to the same type of client and beyond. But we’re ignoring all these people and we’re out looking for net news all the time. It’s really important that we’re nurturing these connections, when you ask their perspective, you matter to them. Have you ever gone to a networking meeting and spoken with someone and when they speak about, you know, 80% of the time, they think you’re a great conversationalist, that’s because you made them matter what they had to say mattered to you.
So if you want to start conversations with some of these folks that you haven’t talked to in a long time, ask them a perspective on a topic, maybe ask them to comment on a post that’s about their expertise, ask them to vote on a poll. But when you ask for their input, you matter, leverage your social proximity and social capital to gain access to your targeted buyers. So first social proximity. This is who you know, that knows who you want to know, social capital is who you know, that knows who you want to know, someone that trusts you respects you that you’ve brought value to in the past, and that you have built rapport and maybe even a relationship with and when we can do this.
We can leverage that relationship to either get an introduction or permission to name drop into our ideal buyers. Socially surround prospects accounts and bring value to each stakeholder in a way that matters to them in their role. You may be selling into a CEO, but there might be four or five, six other influencers that are part of the decision making process. And each of them have a different agenda. Your CFO wants to make a budget, your salesperson wants to make sure that whatever they’re buying is going to help them hit their number, their number, right every buyer every influencer inside of one organization has a different agenda.
And so we want to make sure that we’re bringing value to each of them in a way that resonates in their current position. And their current decision making process. Random Acts of Social creates random successes. “Oh, this couldn’t be more true. When we get in, We log into LinkedIn. We like something we engage in, We connect with someone, We ask someone to connect, Maybe we look into views or profiles. Maybe we comment randomly on posts.” But guys, this creates random success. And it’s very hard to replicate random success. So it’s really important that you know what you’re doing every day, how you’re doing it, what you’re saying, and ultimately, have a plan around your social selling outreach.
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