If you are in sales, you’ve no doubt engaged in social selling to some degree. (By the way, if you own a business or offer a service, you are in sales too.)
But are you seeing measurable results from those efforts?
Investing in a modern sales strategy is the most effective way to ensure your sales career flourishes in the current era of digital selling.
Whether you are selling to Fortune 500 companies or small businesses, improving your social selling skills is essential to ensure a long and successful sales career.
The basics are no longer enough as more and more companies invest in social selling training to equip their sales teams to compete in the latest digital selling methods.
Sales people who are seeing poor results with social selling usually chalk it up to the fact that it doesn’t work. But nothing can be further from the truth.
Some types of social media users will find very little success from their social selling efforts regardless of how much time they spend doing it.
These types are:
- The Sales Pitcher
- The Ghost
- The Social Butterfly
You won’t see results with social selling if you make these mistakes.
Why do people make these mistakes?
They haven’t been trained, or they haven’t taken the time to learn best practices. And some may even be looking for shortcuts. Looking for a quick sale is understandable.
But there are no long-term, consistent results with… SHORT-TERM-ISM.
Where do you start then?
In this post, I discuss the three types of social media users that are making mistakes in their approach to social media. I’ll also share how to correct those mistakes. I’ll also reveal the fourth type, a rare breed, that consistently produces results from social selling.
Three Types of Social Media Users Who Make Up 99%
The Sales Pitcher
If you have spent any time on social media, I am sure you are familiar with these social media users.
The moment you accept their connection requests on LinkedIn, friend them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter or Instagram, they fill your inbox with sales pitches – aka spam.
You do NOT want to be that sales person.
This is a massive social media mistake that will turn off your potential customers and can even get you restricted or banned from a social platform. Instead, you need to take the time to deepen your connections first.
Slow down the sale to speed it up
To build trust and establish your authority with leads on social media, you need to abandon the rush to sell and focus on the relationship-building process.
By building relationships with your leads, you will help them to know, like and trust you.
Once you build a relationship with a lead and establish your authority on the topic relevant to their problem, you will be able to move the dialogue with them offline to have a sales conversation.
You can’t create a social media account and then expect sales to appear magically.
Connecting with someone on LinkedIn and then never interacting with them again is like going to a networking event, collecting business cards and then shoving them in a drawer.
This will not produce results.
If you want your social media efforts to yield results, you need to engage your connections in conversations beyond the initial connection requests.
Engage with your social media community
The best way to build a relationship – online or offline – is through conversations that both parties find interesting and derive value from.
It requires a lot of listening on your part so that you fully understand your prospect’s challenges and the language they use to communicate them.
Once you know what these challenges are, you can begin to engage with leads on your social channels. Share content with them that will:
- capture their interest
- solve a challenge
- inspire, amuse or educate them.
Keep in mind that just like building relationships offline, it takes time and commitment to build them online. You need to do your research, engage appropriately and provide your leads with value.
The Social Butterfly
The Social Butterfly is the opposite of the Ghost. Social Butterflies know their leads and social community well and invest a lot of time in engaging with them.
Their mistake is they never move their relationships off social media.
To succeed in the B2B world, you need to learn the very specific needs of your prospects so you can offer solutions to them. To achieve that, you need to have offline conversations with them.
Move the relationship offline
After you establish trust and build some authority with your leads, it is time to ask for an offline conversation. In this conversation, you have a chance to demonstrate to your prospects that you:
- truly understand them and their challenges or needs
- have a solution that will solve their challenges or needs.
This offline conversation can happen through a phone call, video chat or in-person meeting, depending on how you do business.
Don’t wait for your leads to ask you for an offline conversation. That will not happen often. You need to take the initiative.
On most social platforms, you can now record video directly or upload it from platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo. This allows you to send a personalized video message to your lead, asking them for an offline meeting.
Video is particularly powerful as your face, tone of voice, body language and surroundings can help you create a more compelling story than an email or typed message can. It also can set you apart from your competition.
Remember: people buy from people, not companies. By using video as part of your sales strategy, you show your leads and prospects the person behind the company, humanizing the connection.
If you are not experienced with recording videos, you may be hesitant to create and send your own videos to your leads. Don’t be.
Authentic and personalized videos often perform much better than high-quality marketing videos, which your leads are more likely to ignore.
The fourth type of social media user: The Strategist
There is a fourth type of social media user, and it is a rare breed. The Strategist makes up less than 1% of sales people.
How do you know if you are the Strategist?
- Your messages are getting a response
- You’re building relationships
- You’re booking offline conversations
- You’re generating new clients
- You have never said “I’m not getting any clients from social media”
If you are not currently a strategist, you can become one by incorporating the tips shared in this article.
LinkedIn: the ultimate B2B social channel for businesses and sales people
The LinkedIn platform provides the perfect combination of features to allow you to find, research, connect and build relationships with your leads while establishing your personal brand and authority in your industry.
Use the tips shared in this article to avoid the three social media mistakes, which will hamper the results of your social media efforts. Instead, use social media efficiently and effectively to meet or exceed your sales goals by becoming a LinkedIn Strategist.
What type of social media user are you? Let me know in the comments below.
If you’d like to become the Strategist and have a proven lead generation system to attract new clients consistently using LinkedIn, I explain how to do this in my book ‘LinkedIn Unlocked’, you can pick up a copy here.