Social Media a fad? I am a customer who makes million-dollar decisions and I don't answer cold calls anymore. I rarely respond to solicitation emails or mailers. Social is really the best way to access me and win my business, because I feel like the salesperson is taking the time to make a true connection, build a relationship, not just do a hit-and-run sale.
Gulp! For the social mediaphobic the above quote (taken as a comment from a Jill Konrath blogpost on social selling) confirms that nagging gut queasiness. Social media has evolved from a useful, to necessary, tool for anyone interested in selling today.
But how do we get over our fear of social media, especially in prospect sales?
By realizing that social selling is no different than the good solid sales practices you have used for your entire career. In fact, social selling can help you avoid some of the messy, tedious, uncomfortable parts of selling (like cold calling) and help you save time in managing various prospects at different points in the buying process:
- No more veiled bragging. Social media profiles are a legitimate place to post your background, client successes and other facts that highlight your accomplishments. You no longer have to worry about coming across as cocky or boastful – your background speaks for itself.
- No more “cold” calls. Social media is a great resource for gathering key intelligence on your prospects and potential sales opportunities. Rather than “cold” first encounters, you can learn quite a lot about a prospect via his or her social media profiles. You can often learn potential places of personal connection (shared schools, employers and even friends). You can learn of current and upcoming projects where you could add value.
- Natural way to “touch base.” You likely have a chunky list of prospects that have an interest in your products or services but are not yet ready to buy. Social media allows you to have a light touch on a regular basis so the prospect thinks of you – without feeling pestered.
- Be there at the right time. If the prospect is active on social media, you can be connected to his or her top-of-mind issues and questions. This means that you can be there when they are dissatisfied with their current vendor or are wrestling with a problem. Isn’t that every sales person’s dream scenario?
How did you get over your fears in using social media for sales? Share in the Comments section below.