Yesterday the UK Government confirmed.
"the UK could not return to normal after the pandemic"
"the country that emerged from the crisis would be very different from the one that preceded it."
Another article to read is this one
I've just got off Zoom from somebody and we agreed that while a small amount of people may go back to the office, it was unlikely we will go back to visiting clients. It is also unlikely, now we work in decentralised companies that we will go back to top down cascade of messaging. Where leaders push a message down an organisation.
Sorry to Repeat Myself
I'm going to say this again, we are not going back to the way we worked, the way we sold and the way we marketed before the pandemic.
Think of it as walking into a room and a door closes behind you and you cannot open that door again. You have to walk forward!
Business after business keeps telling us,
"we are waiting for the pandemic to stop"
"we will start spending when this is over"
"next month, it will all be back to normal again.
It isn't and it will never go back to the way it was, we are living in a Covid world and we need to change our business strategy to meet those new challenges.
But There is Some Good News
As the Uk Government said today "The pandemic could not be allowed to hold us back or slow us down", we need to meet those new challenges.
So what are the new challenges?
Well there is one big elephant in the it's the shift to social / digital / remote / virtual selling and marketing.
We Have Transformed In Work and Play on Social Through The Pandemic
4.57 billion people around the world now use the internet, accounting for close to 60 percent of the world’s total population.
Simon points out that there are now more people on social media than not on social media.
The internet and Social media isn't a fad and it's not going away, in fact usage is accelerating, and now this tipping point has been reached.
But We Only Know What We Know
Business leaders often say to us
"I know all about social media" because they are on facebook and have a profile on Linkedin. Often people say this to us, we suspect, that people won't admit they know nothing about social media. They think it's like admitting we don't know how to use Word or Excel.
We had one Sales Leader who said to us "we are totally on top of social selling, we do all our meetings on zoom".
"My sales team are all over social" this is often because the sales team have been given sales navigator. I'm getting "spammed" on a daily basis, by contacts sending me details about a webinar they have, or we get connection requests telling us about a companies products and services. This isn't social selling, it's spam. You are likely to get blocked, reported to Linkedin and even have your account closed down. Spamming people like this is seriously bad and just shows that you and your company are desperate.
Many marketers think that social is ... we have a Linkedin company page and we buy Linkedin ads or we post corporate content. Or we get a VP to post corporate content and get their direct reports to like the content.
I'm sorry this isn't social selling, at the best it's a random act of social, at its worse it's spam.
Social Selling is NOT
I digress, but the reason why people do this on social is they think that social is "just another channel". Advertising, cold calling and email all work on the principle that I interrupt you and broadcast a message about our products and services. Social isn't like this. Social is about creating conversations, it is after all "social" and "media.
The Problem For Management
The problem for many leaders is they live in an echo chamber, within the business.
If a CEO goes to the Marketing Manager and says, have we tried that social selling, the marketing manager will probably say "yes". Why? Either because they are too scared that they don't know what it is, or they posted some things on social, with no direct methodology behind it and got nowhere.
We met one company that has global social selling team. I asked the Marketing Manager how it was going and she said "amazing". Which is great, so I asked, what are you doing to get this amazing response?
The global social selling team sends product brochures through inmails.
So I turned to the Managing Director of the business and asked him, "when you get an inmail, what do you do?" Without hesitation, he said "I delete them".
So I asked the Marketing Manager, "when you get an inmail, what do you do?" She said, with our a word of irony "delete them".
So I asked again, "so how is this social selling program going?" The Managing Director and the Marketing Manager said in unison "Shit!".
By the way reader, sending inmails, is not social selling, it's just spam.
Hint: My best selling book "social selling - techniques to influence buyers and changemakers" is available on Amazon worldwide. Is a good place to start.
So What Is Social / Digital / Remote / Virtual Selling?
The first thing is you need to have a great profile on Linkedin. We call it "buyer centric". What we mean is that you look "good" to your buyer. We know that buyers have mobile phones and use social looking for products to solve their business solutions. If they came across your profile, do you think you would look like a person that can help them?
We also know they avoid salespeople. If your Linkedin profile looks like a CV or makes you look like salesperson, then they will avoid you.
Think of your Linkedin profile as a "shop window", it's about enticing people to approach you and have a conversation. This is what is called inbound.
Your Linkedin profile should be working hard for you, it is part of your sales kit bag.
Next you need a network. Most people's Linkedin network is x colleagues and recruitment consultants. Nor really much use and the fact you keep posting content is pretty meaning less, as the people you want to influence, which is your customers and prospects you are not connected to.
You therefore need to build a network, like lifting your territory from analogue to digital. Let's not forget that this isn't about spamming people with a list of your products or services, or spamming people talking about "synergies". We hate sales people, we hate being sold to. You need to connect to people in a way that will make you stand out, to not to be just another salesperson and not be spammy.
(I've just had a "sales expert" spam me saying she will teach me how to build "RAPPORT", her capitals ..... but as I pointed out. Sending me a connection request and then spamming me about her products and services isn't a way to build RAPPORT. So why would I hire her, she is clearly incapable of building it, let alone teaching it.)
Thirdly, you need content.
We have created you a content pyramid, with the lowest engagement of content at the bottom and the highest level of engagement at the top.
Many people think you should post corporate content and to be honest you will get little engagement. Here is an example of what happens when you empower your sales team(s)
Social Selling Results
Here is an example of how you can use content, back by our social selling methodology to get leads and meetings, accelerate deals and even, close deals.
Eric Doyle, he's a partner of ours. He posted a piece of content, it currently has 165 likes and 37 comments and has been viewed 18,292 times.
It's created for him 124 leads.
28 outbound connections.
13 new inbound connections.
6 meetings (1 CEO, 1 COO, 2 MDs, 2 FDs)
All from 10 minutes of work, all for free!
Where Do We Go From Here?
For those unsure of what to do, DLA Ignite will complete a review of your current social / digital / virtual / remote selling capability. For free.
We will take your team (up top 10) and perform a complete root and branch Social Media Performance Assessment.
Sales, Marketing, Management, Technical, HR. Procurement ....whoever you want to include.
This will include: Profiles, connections, followers, inbound and outbound activity, content, engagement, follow up, results.
(Happy to provide the list of deliverables).
We will map your business against the DLA Ignite baseline and present back to you our findings. We will show you where improvements can be made and what results should be expected. No hard sell, just present back to you a road map.
You entered lock down analogue, this is your chance to leave this pandemic, digital.
He warned the UK could not return to normal after the pandemic, which would be a "catalyst" for major change.