How do you use social media in your sales process? Hopefully, your answer is something other than “not at all.” If you don’t already utilize LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and more, to connect with prospects and customers — start now.
As these technologies become a primary mode of communication and social interaction, those sales professionals who are skilled at social media are going to be the ones to win big. You want to be one of them. Here are my recommendations for how to grow your sales with social in 2016.
Use It to Research Prospects
Almost everyone has a digital footprint these days. Just googling a prospect’s name can bring up a wealth of information, much of it publicly available on social media. It’s the type of information that could help you quickly build a rapport with and earn the trust of your prospect.
Use this free resource to your advantage with both brand new prospects and ones who are already in your pipeline. Knowledge about your prospect, their work, background, and even personal life can help put you a step ahead of the competition and closer to the sale.
With the right knowledge in hand you can:
- Steer the discussion in a particular direction.
- Volunteer information you have in common with the prospect.
- Anticipate the prospect’s needs and value drivers.
- And more.
Now to be clear, your prospect shouldn’t get the idea you’ve been digging through their trash. However, it can be very positive for them to see that your approach and offers are aligned with their needs and values.
Use It to Warm Up Prospects
Your own digital footprint can be just as valuable when it comes to moving a skeptical prospect closer to the sale. They have to trust you. For that to happen with today’s savvy customers, they need to see that you’re authentic and knowledgeable. It also doesn’t hurt to be relatable and helpful.
Impress those savvy prospects that look you up before moving forward with a sale by maintaining your public social media profiles. Your LinkedIn should have all the information of a professional resume, as well as endorsements from colleagues and clients and posts of helpful product and service content.
Use professional Twitter and Facebook profiles to share tips and advice on your business area. If you’re in insurance, gear your content to links and posts that would be helpful to customers shopping for insurance. If you’re in the mortgage refinance business, choose content that answers the questions of those customers.
It’s also okay to occasionally share some personal interests, as long as the topic is non-controversial — hobbies and the occasional vacation or event photos are usually a safe bet.
Use It to Stay Close to Your Past Customers
Social media can also be a boon to your business when it comes to selling new products and services to your existing customers, or staying top-of-mind with these folks to win frequent referrals.
Conveniently, there’s not much extra effort needed here to accomplish this. Simply invite your clients to like or follow your existing business pages on Facebook and Twitter and to connect with you on LinkedIn.
For many of these customers, you also have an email address. If you’re interested in paid social media marketing campaigns, you can use your email list to further target your past customers on social (assuming they used the same email to sign up for the service).
The idea being, the more you get in front of past customers, the more you’ll be the first sales pro to come to mind when they need you.
Use It to Get Prospects in Your Pipeline
Lastly, social media isn’t just for posting links and photos. The comments can be a good place to find and nurture your next lead.
Certainly, with any post you make on your own social media profiles, replying to comments and especially questions is a must. However, you can also jump into external conversations on threads related to your industry. You’d be surprised how many potential customers ask open questions for advice and direction on such threads. Offer a bit of advice if possible and direct the prospect back to your social profiles or website.
Any way you slice it, social media is a great tool to compliment your existing marketing approach and nurture potential leads. From research to warming leads and winning returning business, social media is the latest tool sales professionals have to compliment and expand their existing sales strategy.
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