When you decide on a big purchase, such as a car or a real estate agent to help you find a new home, where do you start researching?
This was a recent question I asked a group of friends out of curiosity. The answer was simple: social media.
Why? There were a few different answers.
“I’m on social media anyway, so once I think of it, I search for it.”
“I can simply ask for recommendations and my friends and colleagues can point me in the right direction”
“I can easily see reviews on their profiles or business pages and gauge their reputation.”
Some shared their stories about looking for a real estate agent to sell their home on Facebook or looking for new vendors on LinkedIn.
Bottom line: Your customers are on social media, and you should be too.
What is Social Selling?
Social selling allows you to form relationships with current and potential buyers by engaging with them on social media. More than 3.6 billion people use social media in one form or another. This new way of selling allows you to get to know your target buyer more and provide personalized service.
Here are the top three reasons you should start trying social selling in your everyday sales tactics.
#1. Builds Relationships
This is the number one reason social selling should be incorporated in your selling tactics.
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. When you go in to buy a brand-new car, would you rather buy from a salesperson who takes a moment to get to know you and what your needs are, and personalizes every step of your buying process? Or, would you rather buy from a salesperson who assumes what you need, what you like and tries to “sell at you?”
Building relationships and having a personalized experience is what we all look for when we make a purchase. It gives us a sense of security and comfort that the person selling to us genuinely cares and wants the best outcome for you or your business.
#2. Receive Valuable Insights
Social media channels can provide you insights about your customer, such as finding out more about them, what they like, what they dislike and what their pain points are.
LinkedIn, for example, is a great channel to learn more about your target buyer and your current customers. Taking a close look at the content they are sharing or commenting on can provide you insight on possible pain points they are experiencing and content they enjoy.
Also, being present on social media and receiving feedback such as recommendations and reviews is a phenomenal tool. This feedback from your customer, whether it’s positive or negative, can help you shape how and what you sell. Reviews are also a great outlet to correspond with your customers and let them know their feedback matters.
#3. Become a Valuable Resource
Paying close attention to the content your customers and potential customers post on social media is beneficial to you as a sales representative.
According to Forrester, 82 percent of buyers consumed at least five pieces of content before buying from the vendor that provided those valuable resources. Studying this content allows you to learn more about your customers, what they want to learn and what they want to discuss.
If you have valuable insight and content to share with your customers, social media allows you to do that easily.
For instance, if your customer posts an article about a service or product that you know about, you can easily add your insight on that article by commenting on their post. By providing valuable insight (when appropriate), you are building your reputation as a thought-leader in your industry, which helps build trust.
Bonus: If you really pay attention to what your customer is posting, you can use that content as talking points during a scheduled phone conversation or email check-in. Again, personalization is key!
Challenge the Way You Think About Sales
Changing the way you sell, especially if you’ve been doing it for a long time, is not an easy feat. Social selling challenges everything you have ever been taught to be an exceptional sales representative. But keep in mind that your buyer has changed, so you will need to change too.
Social media can be an invaluable tool for sales representatives. It’s a win-win for you and your consumer: They gain a trustworthy vendor who’s willing to go above and beyond for them, and you gain a loyal customer.
Ready to Start Social Selling?
If you’re ready to get started, we’re ready to help! At Marketing Essentials, we offer virtual Social Selling Coaching for your team. Our coaching series is a perfect fit for sales representatives, business leaders, executives and business development managers. This is a hands-on course where you will learn how to enhance your LinkedIn profile, grow your social network, create a social sales process and much more. Learn more about our Social Selling Coaching by clicking the button below.