One of the problems we have at this time of year is that our prospects and customers go on holiday and everything comes to a grinding halt.  Or does it?

If you are still using the telephone and email I can imagine it does.

Most people when they go on holiday, will filter the phone for calls. I for one, don't take any cold calls and will filter the people in my address book who call.  In email, many people will put on an out of office (Oo0) and will switch of email, or skim it.

What people don't switch off is social media.

Think about it.  Your lying on your sun lounger with your mobile in your hand, you will turn to social media.  More on what a buyer will do in a moment.

As a salesperson social media is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Because with social media, we can go to it at any time.  This is one of the many inefficiencies with cold calling, your are restricted to prime selling time (PST).  One of my clients does his prospecting with social between, putting the kids to bed and going to bed himself.  You cannot cold call between 20:00 and 22:00 in the evening, well not if you are selling B2B enterprise. 

How can you sell while everybody is on vacation?

1.  The first thing you need is a "buyer centric profile".  We know that are buyers are on social media, the latest figures from Simon Kemp, show that 56.8% of the world's population is on social media.

It's a business imperative today that each sales person, AE, SDR has a buyer centric profile.  Why? So that buyers see you as a business person that can help them.  You are also a human being.  You have to remember that sales people look like .... salespeople and of course nobody trusts salespeople.  The logic flows that looking like a salesperson makes you look .... untrustworthy.  But what does buyer centric really mean?  We can help with that in our social selling and influence training and coaching.

2. The next thing you need to do is grow your network.  This is where the prospecting starts.

At this point, let's not forget, that nobody likes to be pitched at, this is a social network.  Be social.

In our social selling and influence course we teach people to connect with prospects and customers to have conversations.  Why?

Think about any sale, it all came about through a conversation.  So stop pitching and start having conversations.  You will suddenly find the pipeline start filling. 

Let's not forget, you can do this at any time and your prospects will deal with it when they have time.  Which still can be while they are on holiday. 

Critically, if you want to influence an account, you need to be connected to people in it.  It stands to reason.  If you are not connected to people you won't influence them as they are less likely to see you.  Which brings us onto content.

3.  The final thing you need is content

Not branded content, this won't get you very far, you need content (like this blog) which we call relationship building content.  Content where it demonstrates you know what you are talking about, it build relationships, it nurtures the relationships you have already.  Let's back to that prospect sitting on a sun lounger.

If your prospects and clients are on holiday

Then it is highly likely they are sitting on a sun lounger, with their mobile in their hand.  They will be in social media and they will be scrolling.

What will they be looking for?

Insightful content, educational content, they will even be looking to be entertained.  I can guarantee you they are not looking for your brochures and white papers whatever you marketing people are telling you. So stop posting them.  They will just scroll past all of that, you know that.  

What can you do?  Create your own content (we teach this in our social selling and influence course), which describes the business issues your clients face and how you can solve them.

This blog is a great example, I don't mention DLA Ignite, i'm sharing insight on how you can still prospect and sell during the holidays. 

Back to our client scrolling on the sun lounger.  When they find insightful content, they will read it.  They will look at your Linkedin profile, which won't be a CV or say what a great salesperson you are, it will appeal to this buyer.  It's buyer centric.  If you are lucky, they might even contact you as somebody to help them.

But and it's a big but, to get your content in front of the people you want to influence, you needed to have invested in building a network.  Can you see how the "buyer centric profile", the "network" and "content" all work together to enable you to get the coverage and conversations you need to make your number.

This is how you can accelerate your sales during your prospects and clients vacation. 

We can help you, though our social selling and influence teachings and coaching. 

So who's doing this?

In case you missed it, the Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch have banned cold calling and have moved all their people to social selling. This isn't some trendy tech company that might have decided to do this on a whim, this is a very conservative financial services company that has made a decision based on data.

But surely cold calling has a better ROI than social selling?  Not according to Merrill Lynch.

"They will also be encouraged to contact prospects over LinkedIn, which has a higher hit rate than cold calling"

The CRO (chief revenue officer), Richard Eltham of Namos Solutions, of one of clients posted a comment on LinkedIn about social selling. See here.

“Social selling is not an option now it is the way of the world and you either learn and execute it or fear getting left behind”