What is social selling?
Social Selling is use of social media platforms to listen, relate, engage and identify opportunities for engagement at the right time.
A social seller is someone who demonstrates the ability to blend digital technology, innovative web and social media to increase reach, depth, leads and expedite the sales cycle.
Why is Social Selling important?
The average company can access twenty times more information about you and your competition than they could five years ago. Sales people today are at a huge disadvantage, if the statistics are right, customers are not interested in picking up the phone until after they have scoped solutions. How can the salesperson reach them early and then keep their attention.
Isn’t this Social Marketing?
Social Media Marketing is the use of social networks to create awareness and broadcast a brand message. Social Selling leverages social networks to build relationships. A marketing team will handle a brand account versus a salesperson will handle a personal individual account to create engagement.
Social Selling vs Traditional Selling
The good news is that Social Selling is not a break from traditional selling practices. In fact the use of ABC (Always Be Closing) is now ABC (Always Be Connecting). Social Sellers do not and should not abandon email, phone or face to face methods. In fact a deliberate use of social media will make these traditional methods far more productive. The customer becomes a warm contact, so if anything Social Selling will eliminate the wasteful parts of a sales process such as cold calling.
I said earlier that the sales people of today are at a disadvantage, so let me quickly mention the Social Buyer.
The huge amount of online data gives the seller an opportunity to create value for the buyers. Buyers may well be incredibly informed but they are desperate to shorten their purchasing cycles. The more data they have to process and the more stake holders they must consult, the longer it takes for them to make a buying decision.
If salespeople could deliver insights to buyers at the right times, they could bring purchasing times down and then everybody is happy.
The Evolution of a Salesperson
We as a species are social creatures, we always have been and that will not change. Social media has exploded into this era because of technology, the fastest adoption of technology in human history in fact. Your customers being on a social platform is just the tip of the iceberg. Smart devices are allowing us to be social 24/7. As younger generations step up the career ladder and become your customer are you ready to communicate directly into their pockets. Social Selling is an evolutionary step forward.
I will leave you with this last question:
Will the traditional 9-5 sales role be replaced with a 24/7 seller? I look forward to the conversation.
How to start building the perfect LinkedIn Profile:
2013 LinkedIn Profile Character Limits
Knowing the space with which you can work in your LinkedIn profile is key to helping you build your perfect social brand! Here are your character limits:
- Headline – 120 characters to fill with keywords, answer the question, “What do you do and the outcome you will provide?”
- Summary – 2,000 characters to tell the story or YOU with keywords and accomplishments. How have you helped others and their results they achieved from you.
- Experience/Position Title – 100 characters to sum up your official experience in a title, or something more creative with keywords
- Experience/Position Description – 2,000 characters to use keywords to sum up your role and your one to three key accomplishments. Make sure to format this area to make sure it is easy to read!
- Skills & Expertise – 61 characters for the 50 skills you can list
- Status updates – 700 characters for an unlimited times per day, however, I recommend only one or two per day. And you can include a hyperlink if you need more room!
- Groups – 50 groups is your limit, so pick them wisely to show others with whom you are keeping company!
- Education/Degree – 100 characters to explain your degree to include relevant keyword phrases
- Education/Activities & Societies – 500 characters to give an overview that can tie into your career
- Education Description – 1,000 characters to offer an overview of what you studied and how it is relevant to your career
- Additional Info/Interests – 1,000 characters to further explain your background and show how interesting you really are!
- Honors & Awards – 1,000 characters to shine the spotlight on YOU! Even if you won a sales award, it’s a great accomplishment to list!
- Videos and Content – You are now able to add videos or other content such as pdf’s or powerpoints under several sections – Summary, Experience and Education. So get adding! As for your profile picture, if you want to manifest professionalism, you can utilize the help of photographers, like the Corporate Photographers in London.
Credit for content: MarketingThink.Com
The New Buying Process
Information gives modern B2B buyers an enormous advantage over their counterparts in sales. In late 2010, international agency OgilvyOne Worldwide interviewed 1,000 salespeople in the U.S., U.K., China and Brazil. More than two-thirds of respondents in all four countries believed the buying process is changing faster than sales organizations are responding.
Purchasing has gone through a major revolution in the past two decades to emerge as a vibrant strategic force in business. Social media, has only accelerated the revolution. The biggest question now is how and when people on the sales side will react.
The average company today can access 20 times as much information about you and your competitors as they could access five years ago.
So you are no longer dealing with a customer where ignorance is a factor. Sophistication is the nature of customers today, and you need a sophisticated salesperson to be able to handle that.
Buyers receive an average of 6 phone calls and 14 emails per day from vendors. Since they’re inundated with data and sales pitches, it’s not surprising that they rarely return calls. Now that these informed buyers can thoroughly research their own options, a call from a new sales representative can be more of a nuisance than a service.
If salespeople could deliver insights to buyers at the right times, they could bring purchasing times down and make everybody happy. But if the statistics show that customers aren’t interested in picking up the phone until after they’ve scoped solutions, how can salespeople reach them early and then keep their attention?
The answer is social selling.
• Sellers can use social media to relate to customers and identify opportunities for engagement at the right time: while they’re still conceptualizing their needs.
• Social media is asynchronous and noninterruptive, which makes it perfect for reaching buyers who are still kicking tires.
• Social networks help salespeople establish authenticity and credibility online, so customers consult with them instead of deleting their voicemails.
• Continuous participation within relevant social groups allows salespeople to stay visible and valuable throughout their customers’ winding,non-linear buying journeys.
Connect with me on Twitter : Ben Martin
LinkedIn’s new look is clean and image-centric. The development team have added a new Rich Media tool that allows you to easily add video, presentations, your blog and other media to your Summary, Experience and Education sections.
We all know how important video is to marketing, and with this new media link, LinkedIn acknowledges its importance. So make sure you add video to your profile. (But remember, this is a business tool. No dancing cat videos, please.)
I will now show you how to add a video to a section.
1) Select “Edit Profile under” the “Profile” tab
Scroll down to Experience. You will now see this:
2) Click on the add symbol (circled above)
3) Insert the URL from where the video is hosted. For example YouTube.
I added two
I think this is fantastic, what do you think? What videos will you be adding? Come and say hello below.
Everyone now has “Skills and Expertise”, which is a much more data-rich section full of keywords that can be compared, measured, and analyzed
– No one told people they should list skills in order of importance. Instead, like I first did, you likely listed them in the order you thought of them.
– LinkedIn didn’t tell anyone when they started Skills and Expertise that they would soon be listed in order of the number of endorsements (with the most endorsed skills being at the top).
– The way Skills are offered to people to endorse is a) how they are related to you and then b) how they already rank in your profile. And they even nicely list the “Top Ten Skills” based on the number of endorsements.
LinkedIn doesn’t care if the method is not the most accurate, it just keeps pushing to gather the data of YOU so that it has more value to offer those who purchase that data: subscribers, marketers and advertisers, and of course, recruiters (who will want to search for endorsed skills!).
The strongest platform to build a business relationship has got to be LinkedIn. Everyday I speak to new people, some to learn from and others I spend time helping, and I enjoy it.
So here’s something I would like to pass on to you.
Firstly I am assuming that you have a professional style photograph, this is your opportunity to leverage every opportunity to convey your self in the best possible way.
What I would like you to consider is your back ground. What do you have currently?
Consider having a gradient background, from Blue to White. Here is why…
Blue is the colour of the sky and sea. It is often associated with depth and stability. It symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven.
Blue is considered beneficial to the mind and body. It slows human metabolism and produces a calming effect. Blue is strongly associated with tranquillity and calmness. In heraldry, blue is used to symbolize piety and sincerity.
Light blue is associated with health, healing, tranquillity, understanding, and softness.
Dark blue represents knowledge, power, integrity, and seriousness.
White is associated with light, goodness, innocence, purity, and virginity. It is considered to be the colour of perfection.
White means safety, purity, and cleanliness. As opposed to black, white usually has a positive connotation. White can represent a successful beginning. In heraldry, white depicts faith and purity.
In advertising, white is associated with coolness and cleanliness because it’s the colour of snow. You can use white to suggest simplicity in high-tech products. White is an appropriate colour for charitable organizations; angels are usually imagined wearing white clothes. White is associated with hospitals, doctors, and medical practitioners (click here to know more about them). This is so you can use white to suggest safety when promoting medical products.
This is not something you can control, this is subliminal messaging. So if you want to be trusted, convey intelligence and all round goodness, perhaps this is something to consider.
My Background (by accident) has blue to white with a plant thrown in for good measure. Green by the way is “harmony and growth”.
What do you have as your background right now? Use the comments area below and say hello.
I stumbled across this infographic via Mashable
This gives an overview of statistics for users , age groups, and what industries are using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. Also some handy tips for each network.