Social Selling ≠ Cold Calling via LinkedIn Messages – or Direct Messages on Twitter or Facebook … You can’t just the same old sales tricks and replace the phone calls by other means of spamming your contacts.
There was a time when cold calling was king. It was one of the most effective ways of connecting with prospects, learning about their needs, and making them interested in your products. But, in our social media-driven world, cold calling has become obsolete.
Salespeople hate making cold calls because it’s intrusive and they can’t anticipate prospect’s response. And, prospects hate being interrupted from their busy schedule to talk about things that don’t interest them.
Fortunately for everyone, Social Selling has become the new way of reaching out to prospects and trying to engage them. But, just as with anything new and exciting, Social Selling has become a buzzword. And, where there’s hype, comes misunderstanding.
Allured by the promises and benefits of Social Selling on LinkedIn, a lot of sales professionals have dived head first without understanding what this new tactic is and how it works.
That can be a recipe for disaster.
That said, I think that the best way to understand how social selling can help you is to explain what Social Selling isn’t.
Social Selling Isn’t about Selling
If you’re employing the same old sales tricks to reach out to your audience on LinkedIn (or any other social media channel for that matter), then you are doing social selling wrong.
Despite the name, Social Selling isn’t about selling, but about building meaningful connections with your prospects. It’s the art and science of using social networks to find, connect with, and nurture your prospects.
Social Selling ≠ Cold Calling via LinkedIn Messages
Just because you are using LinkedIn Messages instead of a phone to bombard strangers with sales pitches, doesn’t mean that what you’re doing is “Social Selling.” At best, it’s an evolved form of cold calling. At worst, it’s spamming.
Social Selling is not just about having access to contacts and pitching your products/services to them. Instead, you should focus on building relationships with your prospects and paying attention to find the right instance to join the conversation and present yourself as a solution to their problems.
Social Selling Isn’t a Once-and-Done Type of Deal
You can’t just share and update, or write an article and expect to see results. Social Selling is a continuous journey that takes a lot of time to have a real impact on your business goals.
You need to publish content frequently, start group discussions or participate in other groups within your community. You also need to interact with the people in your LinkedIn network and prove that you’re not there only to sell but also to help and share your knowledge.
Social Selling Isn’t about Being Active all the Time
You know that person from work who wouldn’t stop talking? She/he is so tiring and annoying that you’ve stopped listening to what he/she says. The same stays true on LinkedIn.
If you’re always showing up in your connection’s feed, always sharing content, always interacting, they will eventually get tired and shut you off.
True, social selling is about building connections and connections are best built through interactions. But, listening is also a major component of social selling. By listening to your audience, you can understand their needs, desires, and motivations better and provide them with the solution they need.
Social Selling is like the new kid on the block. It’s interesting, bold, and exciting. But, if you want to get along, you need to understand how it works and how it can help you promote your business on LinkedIn.
Social Selling is also about Inbound Marketing
Customers are tech-savvy, socially empowered and they search online before they buy. 57% of a typical purchase decision is made before a customer even talks to a supplier. The customer will check out your LinkedIn Profile, read your articles, subscribe to your newsletter way before he makes the decision to hire you.
Our Social Profiles & Online Presence need to do the selling for us!
A Social Selling Optimized LinkedIn Profile contains all the information the buyer needs in order to advance in his buying decision. Read this post for a few things you should change on your LinkedIn Profile right now. Or invest in my LinkedIn Profile Quick Fix, a short but highly effective video course to turn your profile into a client magnet.