And just like that, everything changed . . .
We went into lockdown.
A global pandemic. Panic. Social distancing. Working from home. Some of us came out of lockdown and then there was a second wave.
In a heartbeat, we went from happy hours to virtual happy hours. From conferences to virtual conferences. From selling to social selling.
To remain competitive, sales and business professionals were required to shift the way they engaged prospects and customers.
But if you think that "the new" is "the old" done in a "digital" way you are very mistaken.
Remote Selling Isn't Cold Calling with Zoom
I was sent an article yesterday by somebody who has "#socialselling" in their summary title on Linkedin. So you would think they know what social selling is, right?
But he wasn't writing about social selling, he was advocating cold calling on a social network. He wrote about a long string of "digital technologies" and how we can do what we did since the 1980s but do them in a digital way.
Cold Calling Vs Remote Selling
Selling as it was before Covid19 was based on interruption. I call you up, I interrupt you and pitch my product. I email you, I interrupt you, I pitch my product.
Somebody was telling me recently about their marketing team was "social selling". They got a VP to make 100 videos, which they sent as connections requests. This isn't social selling, it's what we have done since the 1980s, but with video.
I send you a video, I interrupt you, I pitch my product. What has changed? Nothing?
Your Prospects and Customers are On Social
This expands also into business that in the past the majority of clients were not on social media, now the fact is that the majority of clients ARE on social media.
Isn't Social Media Trickery and Witchcraft?
We often read on social media about the business benefits of using social and the results are often difficult to understand logically.
People often make claims like "if you post on social media you will win business" Really?
The Linkedin message that will win you a $1 million deals. Yeah right!
There is an organization in Germany that say that with their social selling program they will make you a millionaire in six months. The secret seemed to be that you needed a high SSI score. Must admit I haven't heard from them recently.
There are a number of "Sales Experts" in the US who state that "theory X is true, because it says so in my book". Unfortunately, just because somebody says something in a book, it does not make it so. I would love to say that the Story of Peter Pan was true because it says so in a book. It's just fairytale.
With so many "experts" and so many people stating that social media "works" without nothing to back it up, it makes the process for a business to review and decide to implement social difficult.
If you have a cynical business leader who is signing off the budget, they will say "show me the leads". If all you have is the word of a guru, many people don't get the budget and rightly so.
So What's Change?
We decided to make social selling data driven.
Using our clients we have undertaken research. We know all the way through the stages of the buying process, what works with social selling and what does not. And it's back by data. Thus turning social selling from an art to a science.
In summary, our methodology we tell you to "do this" and "do this" and you will get this result. This is all backed by the research we have undertaken in our clients.
This does not guarantee you success of course, as it is your sales team that will be doing the selling, not us. But assuming you have an average sales team then we would expect you to be able to get one additional meeting per week.
If you are able to turn four meetings into one proposal and three proposal into one new sale that means you should get one additional sale per quarter.
Let's assume your average sale is $100,000, that is an additional $400,000 per sales person or $4 million per year, every year, for ever.
Of course you might be above average and have a better closing rate, then the amount you make from data driven social selling will be higher.
Not bad for a small investment.
Social Selling Results
Eric Doyle, he's a partner of ours. He's posted about the fact that he has started riding his bike again.
At the time of writing Eric has 36 likes and 53 comments. That means with the average person having 500 connections on Linkedin that has reached 44,500 people. Think how long it would take you to build an email list of 44,500 people. We could assume that those 44,500 have 500 connections, so that connect could be seen by 22 million people. Who cares? You want leads and meeting after all!
Last time I spoke to him, he has got 6 new business meetings from this, it took him 20 minutes to create.
(I wonder if you can create 6 new business minutes in 20 minutes from advertising, cold calling or email marketing? ... I doubt it, but let me know if you can).
Sell Like We Work in 2020
Covid 19 has changed the world, it has changed the way people buy and it must change the way you sell.
You are wasting time and resource, interrupting people and pitching, when we all know our buyers are repulsed by that. Somebody described as methodology recently as "you guys have cut what no longer works in marketing and are practically busing prospects to my sales team."
It's time to leave the 1980 sales methodologies behind and accelerate your team into the 2020s.
If you want more information about how we turned social selling from being an art into a science contact me here.
Research from cloud communications platform provider Twilio has found that the way in which firms have had to react quickly to the “new normal” of the Covid-19 pandemic has meant having to identify new ways to communicate with customers and stakeholders – but with the result of considerably boosting digitisation processes.