One of the mistakes we see sales gurus making is that when things get difficult for them, they fall back on "manipulation".
The great sales leader Jill Konrath said "I detested anything that smacked of manipulation."
Sales has a problem
The problem that sales has is that buyers are now empowered, but most salespeople don't understand how to work with an modern buyer.
What do I mean by that? When I first started selling, to buy the payroll systems I sold, you had to talk to me. I was the person that gave you access to the rest of the resources in the company.
Today, we are all empowered to go online. The internet, social media and mobile phones have all put an end to it. When I started selling, if you wanted a demo of the payroll software I sold, you had to come to me. Now you can see a demo on youtube and you can do that without me or any of the company you work for knowing.
You have to assume now in sales, that the buyer has gone online and knows your products and prices, your competitor products and prices.
You can of course, not assume that, it is a free world, but you are going to lose more deals and leave more money on the table than your competition, if you do.
So how do erase and replace your client’s primary assumptions?
Problem is, if you are making an assumption that you can just walk into deals and erase your clients primary assumptions, you are already being outsold by your digital savvy competition. Trying to manipulate and change people's minds, sure is a sales tactic, but as sales people surely we are leaders, proactive in our behaviour and will have already set the parameters (on social) in the first place?
It's now taken as read that buyers are 60% of the way through the buying process by the time they have drawn up their short list. They will have researched you and the competition, they will know their business issues and how to solve them. As salespeople we need to be in the position where we help our clients solves these problems, and influencing these decisions.
To think you can suddenly come onto short lists and manipulate your way into winning deals as some sales gurus are currently saying is utter fantasy. And to be honest, defetist.
This is not modern selling, hoping we can scramble onto short lists and make the changes from there, that is legacy selling.
You may well be right, you may well believe in your product, but keep coming from behind is unproductive and inefficient. I doubt it will position you as a partner, because the pro-active, social, digital literate people will have already been sitting on the top table?
Can I be a catalyst to change with social selling?
Social and digital places you at the forefront of being that catalyst to change. Why? Because we all know that our buyers are online and are on social, this is now taken as the norm. After years of transfering to buy from a self services prospective, the pandemic has pushed all the doubters in fact everybody online. We know, that not having a digital sales team is commercial suicide today.
I want to help my prospects
We know that by being central to the buyers buying process on social, you will not only help them understand the business problems they have, you will also set the agenda for their market review. They will reward you a place on the top table and be a partner for their business change.
If I adopt social selling, what benefits will it give me?
- It will accelerate your prospecting, by giving you a framework that offers an executive briefing that positions you as a business partner. As a consultative (helpful) salesperson, you will be differentiated from your competition, this avoiding be perceived as a commodity.
- Critical for this is that you will be ahead of your legacy (cold calling and emailing) competition. You will have compelled your clients to change, motivating them to act before the legacy salespeople or external factors threaten the partnership position you have built with that client.
- Because social wil have enabled you to build a position of trusted advisor ahead of your legacy (cold calling and emailing) salespeople. You will have been able to have a sales strategy to build a wall around this client. Thus stopping legacy sales people who are late to the game from changing their minds.
- Social will enable you to accelerate help to your contacts so they recognize the factors they need to consider to avoid making mistakes. Something you do by providing the context they are missing from their online research. This approach elevates you to the "top table" above others competing for their business and those late to the game because of their legacy sales background.
- By providing content that you have created that is insightful, educational and authentic your prospects will be ready to make credible recommendations your clients understand. By being social, your prospects will want to engage, rather than the manipulation of old fashioned, legacy cold callers and emailers. After all, social is the best platform to make and build relationships, rather than just spamming people.
- The "micro-influencer" position on social you will have built yourself will teach your prospects how to make better decisions and how best to improve their results, putting you in the position of trusted advisor.
- With your prospects now being on social, there is a clear "blue sea" by having a positioning yourself as an expert in your field and the go-to resource in your industry with content and those people that try and spam their way across their territory.
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