How many times have you given in to your curiosity about a brand that popped up on your Facebook page, Instagram feed or LinkedIn updates? Would you have the same level of interest in that product or service if it came as a practiced pitch – a phone call, email blast, or door-to-door cold call? Probably not. This is why proper Social Selling can be very useful for a brand’s marketing campaign.
Your customers and prospects mirror the same behaviours and preferences as you. Today, whether it is B2B or B2C, consumers are less receptive to making buying decisions through conventional methods of sale. Instead, they rely on their own online research and reading, or the views of social media influencers across various platforms. In fact,
- An IDC research study shows that 75% of B2B buyers say they use social media to make purchasing decisions.
- Another study by Harvard Business Review on B2B selling shows that 90% of the decision makers (C-level executives) say they do not respond to ‘cold’ pitches. Instead, they are more receptive when relevant vendors reach out to them through short messages on social media.
While business deals may still be clinched while out on the golf course or a social evening at a club, traditional sales methodology does not seem to yield the same results as it did a few years ago.
Social Selling is the Key to Achieving Ambitious Sales Goals
Whether you are looking to create a robust pipeline, increase your revenue potential, or strengthen your lead generation, wouldn’t you love to leverage avenues that are predictable, consistent, and preferred by your target audience? By employing social selling through effective platforms, such as LinkedIn, you can not only find the right prospects, but also build solid relationships that will help you accomplish your ambitious sales targets.
So, why Linked In?
Focus on Ideal Prospects: LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator is an excellent tool to search and connect with people who fit your ideal customer profile.
Connect and Engage: LinkedIn Publisher allows you to create original content; one of the easiest ways to build credibility and establish yourself as a subject matter expert. You can also share or repost other relevant content and valuable statistics that resonate with your potential customers.
Brand Building through a Circle of Trust: Providing solutions to common pain points builds deeper connections with your prospects, and this circle of trust goes a long way in earning introductions and referrals that expand your reach. Besides, the platform itself is a fantastic opportunity to build a strong, professional brand, and lasting relationships that fast-track your conversions and sales goals.
Simple Steps for Identifying and Leveraging LinkedIn Decision Makers
LinkedIn’s own first-of-its-kind, Social Selling Index (SSI) indicates that:
- Sales representatives with higher SSI generate 45% more sales opportunities and are 51% more likely to nail their sales target.
- 78% of the social sellers outsell their peers who do not use any social media selling tactics.
Here are some simple steps to identify and leverage decision makers who can influence your sales.
1. Build a polished, client-focused LinkedIn profile that creates a great first impression.
2. Use the Premium or Sales Navigator plan to get access to several useful features and information that will help you identify relevant decision makers. Working your network, scouring company websites, and using LinkedIn Groups are other ways to narrow down your list of influencers.
3. Before reaching out to the key decision maker in a company, connect with other employees from the same organization or department. Your potential influencer is more likely to connect with you, if they notice that others in their team or organization are already in your circle of contacts.
4. Write original content on LinkedIn Publisher and post insightful updates daily. Try to get your content in front of your prospects, even before you connect with them.
5. Like, comment or share the content of your clients and prospects to get on their radar.
6. Engage with your decision makers on other social media platforms, such as Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. A simple, natural interaction with appropriate comments, likes and shares, will further enhance the chances of your prospects noticing you.
7. Don’t forget to send a personalized note along with your connection request. The more creative you are, the better are your chances of building a trusting relationship with your influential decision maker.
Put Your Best Social Selling Foot Forward
Whether it is identifying the right target audience, engaging them in meaningful conversations, staying top of mind within your network, or inspiring decision makers to influence a larger audience, social selling can help you achieve a number of goals within your sales journey. However, building that authority, credibility and trust through social networks takes time, patience and skills. Remember, social selling is like a marathon, not a sprint, and you need to be in it for the long haul.