I’m on the way to a customer meeting, I’ve done all the necessaries. Checked the prospects website, got a feel for the client and culture. I’ve also looked the people up on social, again to get a feel for what the people and the culture of the business.
We all do it. That’s how radically the world of business has changed with social. Once it was a tactical “nice to have” in Marketing. Now social is a boardroom strategy that is driving out cost and transforming businesses.
So let’s look at Sales.
Sales has always been hard work. When we first started cold calling you could get a meeting a day, now you need to make 100 or 200 calls to get a meeting. The only people now that are telling me cold calling works are people who do it for a living. Even they are a cold calling agency or teach cold calling. As cold calling puts food on the table, I wonder if they could be biased?
Other types of selling and marketing such as email and advertising that are based on “interruption” are going the same way. The technology we have enables more and more messages can be pushed out. The average person gets 1,000 messages a day, the likelihood your message will get through is small, I might even say a miracle.
So what can you do different?
While being on the fringes, Social Selling has now become mainstream and even if you are not doing it yet, having a pilot is a priority and in 2020.
Why Social Selling?
Social has meant a massive shift in society and work. We all have access to mobile phones, we all have access to social. It’s something we are comfortable with in our daily lives, if not at work.
Your clients are comfortable with social media. They are using it to do research for products and services just like your. Thing is, if you are not there, you won’t get short listed. It’s as simple as that.
So what’s the remedy?
You need to do three things:-
- You need to have a social “shop window”. So when your buyers are searching for what you are selling they will find you. Just like a Mall if your window is empty or you look like a high pressure sales person people will walk by. You need to think what your buyer is looking for.
- You need a network. This isn’t contacts or a list of recruiters, you need to connect with everybody in your territory. Everybody. Anybody that might buy, influence or support a sale. Let’s not forget that Gartner say there are 10 people per account who make a decision. As a salesperson, to de-risk the deal you need to be connected with ten people and then some.
- You need content. This can be curated via a free such as Flipboard. Or written by yourself. Writing isn’t difficult, I’m not the cleverest person in the world or the best writer but you are reading this blog. It is also rubbish about regulated industries not being able to write, another blog for another day. Salespeople are communicators and blogging is like a muscle, when you get to use it, it becomes easier.
Like going to the gym, you need to do legs, arms and aerobic exercises, you need a shop window, a network and content. Miss one and this does not work.
Your shop window will attract people, you can influence your network using content. If you say you are into Digital Transformation then people will look for evidence in your shop window. Content is that evidence.
You can use content for “social marketing” as part of the desire building process. You can also use content to move business through the pipeline.
Of course, you can try and do this yourself. My first book “Social Selling - Techniques to Influence Buyers and Changemakers” will help.
Or why not get us in to support you, we do this everyday.
tools we use to accomplish this is the Sigmoid Curve, which is used to chart where you are in the lifecycle of both your company and specific products/services. Are you in startup phase, growth, maturity, or possibly in decline? Are you growing while the rest of the industry is in decline, or vice versa? Chances are that you are on a similar trajectory but you need to know this to progress. For more information on the Sigmoid Curve, see my November column at CustomerThink.