I've just presented to a prospect, they think they want to use social media, they have read a lot about it and so they are talking to us.
We have a "introduction to social media" presentation, where we walk through with people the data (not opinion) on social media and DLA Ignite and our partners customers case studies.
The live demo
Anyway, one of the things we often do is do a live demo. The live demo entailed me finding some competitors. I did this by going to the prospects web site, finding a term (keyword or key phrase) that they they clearly want to be famous for, in other words what they "do" and putting it into Google and pressing search.
But more importantly
I then show Google and point out that there are 3 companies that are willing to buy that search.
Which may or may not be competition, either way, the people buying the search see themselves in that space. So much so they are willing to spend budget buying that search.
I then take one of those competitors and search for them on LinkedIn and show the prospect the competitors company posts.
Company 1 has 300,000 followers and 4,500 staff, which is good.
The first post, which is about the companies products and services 359 likes, 1 comment and 44 shares. Which isn't bad until you look who's liking the article, it's all people from that company and what I would call "randoms".
Now the marketing people in this company will be reporting they are "killing it on social" but they are not. In fact far from it.
The fact that only the people from the company is liking that article shows the company live in a social media echo chamber.
The fact there are no comments (well only one) shows that the content is not resonating with people. Anybody can "drop" a like, these people are fooling themselves big time. And we can all see it!
The job of social is two fold, 1. to get leads and meetings and 2 to get revenue.
I doubt this business is getting either, I'm sure there is lots of back slapping and congratulations but this is a cost to the business not a profit.
The next post has only 16 likes, I'm guessing that marketing didn't ask the employees to like this one.
So actually the company is invisible. I'm sure all this effort will be going into social media and none of your customers, prospects or anybody you want to influence will be seeing this. Now, I'm not saying it's a waste of time, but close to it.
Your job on social is to have a strategy, that will get your influence into the accounts you want to sell to, this is not doing this. You can also see that as there are no comments, this content does not resonate with anybody. It's corporate spam.
This company goes through highs, massive engagement from employees and lows, and nobody is listening.
This company is NOT killing it on social.
Company 2 has 47,000 followers on LinkedIn and 1,000 employees, they are pretty much the same. Posts liked by employees, talking in an echo chamber, not influencing the people and accounts they should be.
They are not killing it on social either.
But there is more
The other problem for both of these companies is the fact they are posting on the corporate page, but none of the salespeople understand digital. None of them have buyer centric profiles, afterall your Linkedin profile is your shop window to the world. I doubt any of them have a digital territory and I doubt they are influencing their customers and prospects. Worse than that, they are look like every other sales person. None of them are creating content, showing their prospects and customers what experts they are, how they can help and building trust.
In the world of digital, why would a business and it's salespeople try and make it hard for themselves.
The lesson for the prospect
If you have two paths to follow, do you want to spend a load of money on social and get nowhere or do you want to use social media as a strategy that will provide you with:-
- Visibility – recognition in the marketplace
- Trusted advisor status
- Recruit and retain the best talent
- Employee engagement & shared sense of purpose
- Pipeline, growth and new logos
I know where my budget will go.
Now Imagine .....
Imagine, I pick you up tomorrow in my car and drive you to a place which is full of your prospects and customers. All you have to do is go up and have a conversations with them.
Remember, social media is, social media. In the past you interrupted somebody with a cold call or an email and pitched your services. As social media is being social on media, interrupting and pitching does not work.
If I walked up to you at a social event and pitched, you would make your excuses and go and talk to somebody else.
So how about tomorrow, I pick you up in my car and we go to a place where all your prospects are hanging out. You can stay as long as you want. All you have to do is have a conversation with them. It's that simple, if you are interested, read on.
What is social selling?
Here at DLA Ignite, we define social selling as
"Using your presence and behavior on Social Media to build influence,
make connections, grow relationships and trust, which leads to
conversation and commercial interaction."
It's not witchcraft, it's enabling your salespeople to work from home, (or the office) and create conversations with prospects and customers. Conversations on social media and conversations that convert.
The problem with the name "social selling" is that people think that this is selling on social. All these pitches that you get on social are not social selling, they are spam.
The other thing you need to know about social selling is that this isn't about "putting out some videos" or "putting flowers on your profile" or "going viral". Here at DLA Ignite, engagement is important but we are about driving revenue, EBITDA, for your business using social media. This is about you winning business from the competition and having a competitive advantage.
Social is about having a strategy and there are two key drivers
With anything you do on social there are two questions you need to ask
2. How much revenue / EBITDA am I getting as a business?
Posting and hoping or posting random stuff is not a strategy, in fact I doubt it's driving anything for your business.
So who's social selling?
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"
“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”
Kevin Murray who is the Head of Sales at MacArtney Underwater Technology recently posted about his success with social selling here and wrote an article about the transformation that has happened in sales here.
Andrew Ferrier who is the CEO of Display Technology Ltd and in this article it talks about why Display Technology have adopted social selling. His team have also created a social media strategy with help from our partner, Crux.
Their social media mission statement is
“We want to position ourselves as a forward-thinking, knowledgeable team of individuals who are all experts in our own right, therefore, collectively awesome!”
Andrew also says in that post
"Adopting this (social selling) strategy has taken all of us well outside of our comfort zones but the rewards we have seen in a short period of time have created an excitement within the business development team (new term for sales team).
Because of the nature of social media, quite often you can get instant results. Even if that is just a comment left on your post, or a like, or someone taking the time to want to connect with you.
The excitement around the sales team is infectious, it’s no longer a chore to reach out to the market place because the results can be instant and are there, right in front of you."
What sort of results can you expect?
If you check out this video of Chris Mason CEO at Oracle reseller Namos, and DLA Ignite customer, fast forward to 19 minutes 55 seconds. Chris talks about a $2.6 million win from being on social, after completing the DLA Ignite social selling and influence course.
What happened? They buyer was on social media looking for a solution to their problem, spotted one of the Namos salespeople, who had a buyer-centric profile and asked if the salesperson could help them. That turned into a $2.6 million deal.
Go and look at their LinkedIn profiles .... look how they can have digital conversations, create insightful content. This could be your company!
We are the only social selling and influence company in the world to offer a certificate in social selling sponsored by the Institute of Sales Professionals (ISP).
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