My previous post gave an introduction to the scary stats which show a general lack of understanding of social selling among sales people and some insights from the Huthwaite Future Forum. For this post I wanted to share the most useful top tips for social selling from the event. Read part 1 here.
5 top tips for implementing social selling:
- Once you’ve come to the party, you’ve got to stay – and track everything! (Christ Collacott).
- Celebrate the small wins and make sure it spreads across the organisation. (Marie Sornin).
- Go and talk to your customers and ask them how they use social media, where do they get their information from, how can you engage differently with them, should marketing be providing information in a more contextual fashion? (John Golden).
- Trust is key to getting that meeting / putting forward a proposal and catalysing that into a sale. To get trust, share content that you know your audience needs. Remember people only care about what makes them better and stronger in their jobs, if we cater to this then they will reciprocate with trust – not in 2 days, but in time. If the content is consistent around what they need, they will trust you. Always put your own insight into the content. It may take a year to get that meeting, trust needs to be built up slowly and over time, but it does pay off. (Tom Skotidas).
- Give stuff for free – don’t force people to give you their details every time they download a piece of content. If we hold back and don’t give them things, they will either find it somewhere else or they will just get irritated. Don’t "give to get" and try to let go of control. (John Golden).
5 expert insights for the future:
- Google+. Facebook now has to make money so is going backwards. Also Pinterest is one to watch (but only if your customers are on there). Remember it’s not always good to be an early adopter – listen and learn. (Danielle Di-Masi).
- We will see a resurgence in blogging – positioning people as thought leaders and experts. (Chris Collacott).
- Social and search (searchial) – predictive solutions. Digital and mobile platforms will be able to provide you with content before you have searched for it. Make sure we create our digital footprint now e.g. mobile, location based – then in the future we will have good foundations. (Marie Sornin).
- Emergence of personal brand. Providing your customers with insights and relevant information which blur the line between marketing and sales. (Tom Skotidas).
- The line between sales and marketing will be so blurred a new role will be created, maybe with a new name. Sales people have to know what’s going on in the industry and they have to know the businesses of their buyers. They don’t usually understand anything other than the selling process but they will need business acumen plus skills in research, patience, discipline, micro-marketing, AND the selling part. The successful sales person is going to be different from the one today and will require a lot of training and investment to ensure they have all of these different components. (John Golden).