Darrel Griffin is a Western Australia-based Signage Adviser with over 20 years of experience in B2B sales, predominantly in the UK.
Due to the exceptional success of his social selling efforts, he has also launched a consultancy, Social4Sales, aimed at training fellow sales professionals in the art of social selling.
Prior to using social selling or LinkedIn, Darrel was selling using a combination of cold calling and email prospecting.
With little to no information about the companies he was contacting, he generally found himself resorting to calling the business to get the name and email address of the person he needed to contact from the gatekeeper. In the rare instances where this tactic did pay off, he would email the person and then follow up a few days later.
The process required a lot of time and work with a very low to moderate return. Darrel knew he needed to find a better way to prospect for new leads.
Darrel moved to Western Australia with his family in 2012. Starting from scratch and with no professional connections, he decided to immerse himself in social media as a way to build business relationships. He decided to focus on LinkedIn in particular.
He created a plan and then over many hours created his personal brand and ensured his profiles were complete and up-to-date. He focused on connecting with professionals within his employers’ target markets.
Each day he set aside time to post daily updates and interact with his ever-growing network, taking the time to capitalize on opportunities such as sending birthday greetings or congratulations to contacts with work anniversaries. He also took the time to read the posts and content of others and then “like”, comment, or reply as appropriate. He also participated in many group conversations.
Darrel made a consistent effort to ensure that he was top of mind in his field. Gradually, he began to be invited to look at signage projects by his connections and by the end of the year, he saw remarkable results.
In 2013, 42% of the leads Darrel generated for his employers came directly from his LinkedIn activity, equating to over one million dollars worth of leads.
In one instance, after he had been connected to an advertising agency’s Creative Director for some time, he was contacted via LinkedIn and asked if he’d like to come in and discuss a project. During the meeting, he was able to introduce new digital signage technologies which resulted in further presentations to the agency’s entire staff and then to one of the agency’s clients—a major prestige car manufacturer.
- Social selling isn’t a magic bullet—it can be done badly and this can be seen every day.
- Social selling is first and foremost relational—it’s SOCIAL media, not sales media.
- Social selling requires a long term approach and results are rarely immediate.
- Social selling does require a time investment but the ROI definitely justifies it.
- Social selling requires consistency.
- Social selling opens up doors that would otherwise be closed!
“LinkedIn is a powerful tool, no doubt about it. In the right hands, it can definitely generate new business—I’ve proved that!”