I can understand their skepticism–there’s already plenty to do everyday when you’re in sales. Time spent finding leads, calling through lists, hearing the words “no” or “I’m just not ready” more often than you’d like…then pushing beyond that. It’s a full day.
But like so many things in life, as the phrase goes, the key is to work smarter not harder. Social media is a smart idea for agents for a number of reasons. Chief among them, quality time spent engaging with people on social media channels can go a fair distance to selling before you’ve even said a word to the prospect.
Being active on social media can help you build overall trust in your name, brand, and product.
The trust you earn on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Linkedin, etc., can pay dividends for insurance and mortgage professionals when contacting their leads. On these channels, you’re already having a conversation–and it doesn’t have to be one-way.
By talking with, and responding to, your social audience, you’re demonstrating–not just to that individual person who asks a question, but to the whole world–that you are there to help them solve their problems. You break down the barriers that might otherwise prevent them from reaching back to you, or even agreeing to sign.
So, say I’ve convinced you that social media is a valuable tool in the agent’s toolbox.
Let’s quickly unpack the specific social media channels, and what they do best.
We’ll start with Google+. This channel is great for raising the online visibility of your website or blog, and has a strong community aspect. The better your page or site indexes on search engines, Google in particular, the more people can find you, get to know you, and start to build comfort and connection with your brand.
Now, to Facebook. Facebook has one billion-plus users–which is enticing to those in sales, all by itself. But it’s also a great way to cultivate an audience and familiarize them with yourself, in addition to sharing interesting, worthwhile news and policy updates.
Twitter is particularly great for sharing out and syndicating your content. It’s rapidly spreadable and is great for quick updates. It’s also helpful in training an audience to consistently expect and look for your brand-enhancing content.
Linkedin is a staple across businesses and whole industries. This channel enables you to build an online network, create an identifiable company page, and solicit recommendations from previous customers, contacts, etc.
What all these social media networks have in common is they add depth to your brand.
Social media enables you to break free of the schticky pitch stuff and be a real person (or group of people). People want to deal with people–not faceless, emotionless, unknown brands or entities.
So much of being successful in sales consists of building trust. People can trust huge, monolithic brands, sure. But the most-trusted big brands often make hugely expensive efforts at building that trust–often over the course of generations.
You probably don’t have that kind of time or money! And besides, there’s a lot of competition out there. More often than not, rather than just brands, people are inclined to trust other people–and social networks flesh-out your Web-based identity.
Social media is an inexpensive way to get your message and personal brand out there, build trust, and shorten the distance to a sale.
I subscribe to the notion that strong sales come from helping people solve problems. Social media helps you effectively get the attention of, speak with, and listen to, the kinds of people you need to reach in order to close. If you help those people, solve their problems, and stay in touch–you (and your product) will be well-‘Liked’ indeed.