Start social selling like a pro
Social selling is not bombarding strangers with unsolicited Tweets and private messages. We call that spam, and nobody likes spam.
Year over year social media use is on the rise and the landscape is always changing. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter that originally meant to keep you in touch with people you know or new friends have morphed into opportunities for businesses and nonprofits to expand their digital voice to reach a larger audience. Unlike traditional advertising methods, this digital reach is vast and saves more money than printing mailers of paying for production based advertising.
So now that you know what social selling is not and that social media has created a vast new opportunity, let’s dive into what social selling is, who uses it, and how to implement into your outreach strategy.
So What Is Social Selling?
Linkedin.com states that, “Social selling is about leveraging your social network to find the right prospects, build trusted relationships, and ultimately, achieve your sales goals. This sales technique enables better sales lead generation and sales prospecting process and eliminates the need for cold calling. Building and maintaining relationships is easier within the network that you and your customer trust.”
So does that mean that social selling is only useful for sales professionals? Definitely not. Social selling impacts for-profit and nonprofit alike. For-profit sales teams definitely benefit from social selling but this marketing technique heavily benefits outreach and donation collection for nonprofit organizations. As a matter of fact, social selling correctly has helped nonprofit organizations increase in donation activity. When approximately 25% of your time spent online is being engaged in social media activity and you have a targeted social media selling strategy that includes relationship nurturing you can expect a positive impact on your sales and donations goals.
Who Uses Social Selling?
That is a very simple answer….everyone. Employers utilize social selling in the recruiting process to find and retain top talent. Potential investors, colleagues, clients and potential customers are all looking to build relationships and establish trust. That is the definition of social selling.
How To Implement Social Selling
Entrepreneur.com offers 3 great tips for leveraging the power of social selling:
1. Do your homework.
Building a successful relationship with people means that you need to take time to understand who they are. Resources like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms provide you with a wealth of information about who people are like their business, industry, job title, marital status, interests, etc. From this information you are able to evaluate which prospects it makes sense to connect and to begin the relationship building process.
2. Be authentic.
Once you have identified individuals you want to connect with now it is time to start building a relationship. Creating new relationships for social selling is easy if you are truly interested in the people you have identified. Just be yourself, respond to a blog posts and engage in other social media activity with topics you have an interest in. This is not the time to pitch your product or ask for donations!
3. Nurture your relationships.
Now is the time to deepen those relationships. Start engaging with ideas to assist a prospect. Talk to them to discuss their problems and the steps they are thinking they may do to solve it. Help and guide them. Nurturing relationships creates trust and trust create good client relationships and engaged donors.
Wrapping it all up...social selling is a great marketing strategy to implement into your social media marketing plan. But get organized first.
- Have a social media plan or template to create one from
- Develop a checklist to work from
- Identify a social media manager to implement your plan
- Set your goals
Find out how you rate with your digital outreach by completing the short survey for a digital audit and get a quick report on how you rate with the top 3 items you can do to improve.
Still not convinced social selling is a viable option to increase your company sales or organization donations? Here are some inspiring social selling stats that may motivate you:
- 6% of salespeople who use social media to sell out-perform those who don’t (Forbes)
- 98% of reps with 5,000+ LinkedIn contacts reach or surpass their sales quotas vs. just 52% of those with fewer than 250 (The Sales Benchmark Index)
- A lead developed via social media is 7x more likely to close (IBM)
- Organizations using social selling have seen a 10-20% increase in win rate, 20-30% acceleration in cycle time, and 10-15% increase in revenue (KISSMetrics)