I recently put out a blog about how to do big deals using social selling, and the conversations under the post turned into a discussion as to what it is.  Thought I would create a blog explaining what we, here at DLA Ignite see as social selling.

It's worth noting that social selling, is the same as digital selling, is the same as remote selling is the same as virtual selling. 

Social selling is not selling on social

The first thing you need to understand is that social selling is not selling on social media.  Sending connection requests and then pitching (selling) or just sending connection requests and trying to sell your products or service is NOT social selling.

It's spam.  It's just cold calling on a social network.  You and your company are better than that!

As Wendy Schwartz recently said 

"Social selling is not "selling on social." I love this perspective and hope that sales teams take note. You won't get through to me by just trying to sell me something, you have to make it matter."


So what is our definition of social selling?

Using your presence and behaviour on Social Media to build influence,
make connections, grow relationships and trust, which leads to
conversation and commercial interaction.

First and foremost we are using social media for commercial interaction, if there is anybody out there that thinks people on social media are a wasting time or posting and hoping, this isn't what social is about.  I can tell you, straight up, you are leaving a massive amount of money on the table.

The three things you need to do on social

1. have a buyer centric profile - Here at DLA Ignite, we train and coach people to use social media to sell.  The first thing we teach is that you need a buyer centric profile.  What on earth is that?

We know that our buyers are out there doing research looking for your products and services, using social and simple psychology, it stands to reason that these buyer are not going to approach somebody who has a "salesperson" Linkedin profile.  Why?

Because nobody likes salespeople, we don't trust anything you say.

If you profile is that of a salesperson, social selling will be of limited use to you.  In the discussion on my recent post, somebody whose Linkedin profile was that of a salesperson said they couldn't get traction with social.  Of course not, everybody can see your social media profiles, I can see it, your buyers can see it.  As I pointed out, you won't get far as a formula one driver, if you only have a moped.

2. A wide and varied network - The second think we teach people in our social selling methodology coaching is how to connect to people.  We know that people hate being sold to, and we coach on how people can connect without selling.

This is a subtle difference.  While I totally understand that you want to pitch to everybody, but you will find that you will get further by not doing this.  When you connect to people, this is your opportunity to have a conversation. And it's conversations that lead to sales.

Your network needs to be in the accounts you want to influence (sell to) and the more people you are connected to in the these accounts the better.

Why a large and varied network? The way search works on LinkedIn is slightly different to Google.  Search is based on network on Linkedin.  The wider and varied the network you have, the more likely you will show up on a search by one of your buyers.  Then bingo! you get inbound

3. Insightful and educational content - We know that our buyers are looking for insight.

Buyers have business issues and you can solve them.  Buyers are savvy, they are just like you and me.  They know a company brochure or company content will say "buy our company because we are great", we know that, because everybody says that.

It's not original and it's not differentiated.  We know it will be biased and so we avoid it.

As buyers, we are looking for somebody that can offer us insight, somebody who wants to help us, somebody who wants to educate us.

One of the companies we are coaching, the sales guy has just received an RFP, so I suggested, why not use the management summary you are going to write as the basis for a blog?  One of the companies we are coaching asked us how they should measure their salespeople using social.  My email response became a blog.  If we have a client interested in measurement of social, then there must be other people wanting that knowledge as well.  The blog is below, by the way. 

To quote Howard Tiersky "The ‘buyer-first mentality’ should be the core mantra! Digital companies that are thriving right now are customer-centric. The same goes for our social media profiles. If we want to utilize them to get sales, then we should always think of the buyer every time we post."

What results could you look to obtain?

Just taking what you are doing at the moment, cold calling and sending emails and transferring that onto social, isn't social selling.  The results in doing that will be minimal.

It's time for you as salespeople to rise up and get trained on a proper social selling methodology, that will enable you to crush your number. 

Some clients that we have worked with have seen some truly staggering results which might make you raise an eyebrow, but they are true.

  • one client generated over 100x as many qualified meetings from their social activity as they did from their marketing department

  • a sales team generated over £400,000 in revenue and and additional £400,000 in open pipeline per person in just 6 months

  • activated sales teams create great content and huge visibility - we have an instance where each salesperson in a team was generating over 350 engagements per month and over 100,000 views on their content

  • sales and technical teams creating content provide the opportunity to produce a groundswell of micro-niched tactical documents specifically to target particular organisations & industries facing particular challenges. No marketing department is capable of competing with this mechanism.

  • more than 40 quality candidates applying for a role as a direct result of a single post on social media

The results of doing this can be outstanding but this is not a tactical change. This is not a “training programme for some of the team” this is a significant transformation (in the truest sense of the world) in the organisation which not only makes it more competitive today…but every day from now forwards.

If this article has been useful and you think it would be helpful to your network or individuals then please share it.  Please also tag in the individuals.  

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