Every few months, Adam and I get pitched a product that will "revolutionise sales".  It always feels that I'm some sort of investor on an episode of Dragons Den or the US version, Shark Tank

Out there there are lots of people putting brain power to the problem  "I'm in sales and I want to sell my stuff."

Sales in the past

In the past, people have used methods such as cold calling, or cold emails and marketing will have used advertising.  Of course, nobody is interested in you, your products and so don't take and block cold calls, delete emails and we ignore adverts.  We also ignore cold pitches over Linkedin.  

The fundamental issue is, we don't like sales people, nothing against them personally, I'm one after all.  But we know, that they will try and sell us something we don't want, I recall this conversation on Linkedin.

Seller: We have an app that will allow you to get more car parking spaces from your office car park.

Me:  We are a virtual company, we don't have an office.

Seller: But our app is really good.

Or the day Adam posted on Linkedin he was having cancer treatment and somebody tried to close him on a meeting for his "IOT solution" as Adam lay on a bed in a hospital.  Really?

The fundamental issue for all salespeople as a buyer is "why would I believe anything you say?".  You are probably like me, you say "no" to a salesperson, before they have even opened their mouth.

Revolutionising sales

So what of this product we were pitched?  The pitch deck said

"Imagine how a potential client would feel to receive a personalised website/digital pod with links/references/videos/demo logins etc"

Adam said

"I can’t see it helping to generate leads for anyone. If I can’t be bothered to read a personalised pdf or a personalised ppt I won’t be bothered to read a personalised website either.

 The reason is that, to quote David Abbott (founder of the ad agency AbbotMeadVickers) “shit delivered at the speed of light is still shit"…so If I don’t want to engage with your content I won’t no matter how you present it."

When I was asked the question, I said "I would throw up and immediately block the person".

This is the problem that all companies have to wrestle with.

Fundamental issue for sales

The fundamental issue for all salespeople today is that nobody, I will write that again, nobody, is interested in you, your product or your service.  Even if you cold call with white gloves on, or spam me through email with white gloves on, I still don't know you, I'm not interested in you and I don't care about you.  

How do you sell in 2021?  No different from how we have sold over the last 30 years.  You have missed a fundamental step out.  A relationship.  Knowing somebody, liking somebody and trusting somebody.

Let's not forget, I was not cold called about this idea, I know person.  I think the irony was lost. 

(I was contacted this week by "an empathetic cold caller" that's what he called himself and his service.  It's a bit like having an "empathic Hannibal Lecter".  You couldn't, and I don't make this stuff up.) 

 If cold calling and cold emails don't work how do I make sales ... at scale?

When we started DLA Ignite four and half years ago, use of social was tactical, people posted photos of their lunch and cat photos and there was no expectation as to the return on investment (ROI).

It's nearly the fourth year anniversary of my article "How to use Twitter to get 10 C-Level Appointments Per Week — A Case Study" where I explain .... of course, how to get C_level meetings with social media.  It was pretty ground breaking at time, even if I say so myself.

Fast forward, four years and we have transformed hundreds of businesses to use social, not as a tactic, but to use it strategically?  Why?  Because we can get a 30% increase in revenue and a 40% reduction in the sales cycle.  You can get one extra meeting per week, and an extra sale per person would make an impact to your business.  Sorry for the "pitch" but we are very proud of this fact.

Every business now must be selling socially, digitally, virtually, remotely today; it's table stakes.  In fact, businesses will tell us they are being social.  "We are all over social" people tell us.  From where the world of social was back in 2014, I agree you are all over social.  But based on where we are with social in 2021, you are way, way, behind.

Let's think about what's changed.

Everybody is on social (your prospects, your customers and your competition)

The state of the nation of social in 2021

We were transforming businesses to us social before Covid, but now things have gone a little ballistic for us.  Why?  53.6% of the world's population are active social media users. 

You can get the numbers and the reports from this report here.

Using social media at work

We know that 4.20 billion people use social media worldwide, but did you know that 40.4% of these people, 1.7 billion people use social media for work.

Social is NOT about spamming

I know that you get people spamming you on social, they take what they did in an analogue world and think you need to transfer that into a digital world.  It's just cold calling on a social network.  You may have seen that Linkedin has recently tightened their terms and conditions around this area.

Can I ask a favour?  Please always reject people who spam you.  Plus, you should always click the note "I don't know <name of person>" after you have rejected them. 

But, Tim we are all over social? 

We talk to a lot of people who say "we are all over social" when you ask them what this means, they are actually still treating social as a tactic.  Somebody in marketing might post something from time to time, a VP might post something and an email is sent around for everybody to "like" it.  All tactical. 

A CEO of a business this week sent me a like to an article where he proudly had got 40 likes.  35 of the likes were from people within his company, the other 5, I'm guessing from mates.  This is just a random act of social, they are posting in an echo chamber.  I wonder how much revenue he got from that post?

I always ask people "so how much business, did you get out of your last post?"  As a business leader you need to be asking your team(s) how many leads they are getting and how much revenue they are driving from social.

Try it, I usually get blank looks, let me know what you get.

What should you be doing?

The opposite of using social tactically is the strategic use of social.  I'm going to show you how we get C-Level meetings and revenue from social.  This what companies that are not just "on social" but are getting "digital dominance" in 2021, read on.

Case Study 1.

This is Eric, he's one of the team at DLA Ignite here is a post that he put up.  We have all seen posts like this, we see them everyday, but people treat social tactically.  You post, because you think you have to or somebody tells you you should and walk away.  Let's talk about this post. 

 Eric's post of his 16 year old son, Austin, on his Birthday got 18,000 views and 165 likes, which is great.

But better still, he got 6 - C-Level meetings from this post?  

Let's stop and think about this for a second.  

This post took 10 minutes to create and it got 6 C-Level meetings, how come?

Because, all of Eric's post are strategic.  He knows exactly why he is posting it and knows how to monetise it.

You cannot get 6 C-Level meetings from 10 minutes work from cold calling, emailing or from advertising.  This is the transformation that has taken place with social.

Oh and Eric won a sales from this post. 

He doesn't always post "humanised" content, I'm using this as an example.  

But an example of why you need to get your employees and sales team on social, just think of the $ impact to your business.  Especially if you scaled this across your sales team and your employees. 

How can you get 6 C-Level meetings and 1 sales from a post on LinkedIn that took 10 minutes? 

How does Eric do this?  He builds relationships with prospects and customers and because they have a relationship with a human, not a brand, people are happy to engage.  Eric is also able to cut through the myrmid of noise that brands keep putting out.  If you are a buyer, where will you spend your time?  Reading an advert that says "buy my product because it's great" or look for the insight and educational content that people like Eric is putting out?

Case Study 2

In this case study, Danielle Guzman, talks about how Mercer, empower their employees to talk on social.  The ROI (return on investment)?  Danielle explains how Mercer as a brand will develop the business a certain amount of business, because they are well known in certain markets.  She also confirms in this video how empowering people on social and giving them personal brands gives Mercer 4 times more revenue than the brand. 

In a recent article, Nick Dangles, co-founder of Kinetic, was asked for his best advice on social selling and he said

“The best advice I can give about social selling is that it’s not about selling. It’s about creating meaningful and engaging content that will resonate with your audience. Approaching social selling with the intent of providing something of value will give much better results than simply pitching your company on social media,”  

Where Do We Go From Here?

Just give me, or one of the DLA Ignite team and hour of your time and we can walk you through what we are doing to transform businesses.  This is all done in the form of case studies.  Companies just like yours, realising that they need not to be just on social, but digital dominance is the real competitive advantage today.  No hard sell, just practical examples.

DLA Ignite is a global business and we understand that a "cookie cutter" approach to digital does not work, we have to take into account local language and cultural sensitivities.  Which is why we have built teams across the globe, that can support you by country and industry sector. 

For more information contact me here, visit our website, or visit our Linkedin company page and contact one of the DLA Ignite team members.