What is social selling?

Social selling. Modern buzz word or a secret weapon that could just take your business to the next level?

Your social brand – what does your social footprint say about you? What does your social brand say about you? Does it stand in isolation from other activity, is it disjointed and offering mixed messaging or do you have a cohesive brand online that supports your offline activity? Your social brand should be a platform to engage, to prospect, and to sell to your relevant target market.

According to HubSpot, social selling is ‘Leveraging social platforms to engage and convert prospects to customers’.

HubSpot definition (https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/social-selling-definition-under-100-words)

Where most people get social wrong.

Traditional relationship building vs modern relationship building.  The Value of relevant relationships for business growth.

Online > Offline > Offline > Online.

When you meet a potential customer in a networking event (for example), what do you do? Do you head straight for the jugular and pitch that person hard? Are you the Noob of networking or do you take a more considered approach?

Your offline business journey should support, and be supported by, your online journey.

What is the first thing you do after getting home when you meet someone in person at this networking event? 95% of you will no doubt to to Facebook or LinkedIn and look at that person! And if it doesn’t match what you saw in person, you will be left confused and wonder what it is they offer.

Likewise, your networking strategy or prospecting strategy should not be to sell in the room, but to capture this person in to a controlled social environment where you can nurture and build buzzword relationship. You can then aim to move this person to a controlled asset environmen

What are controlled social environments?

  • Facebook Groups
  • Facebook friends via messenger
  • YouTube Channel
  • Twitter Follower
  • LinkedIn Connection

What are controlled asset environments?

  • Email list
  • Blog sign up
  • Phone Number
  • Web visits or memberships
  • One to One meetings and strategic relationships

Social media should be a part of your customer journey, not the sole responsibility of meeting, engaging, and selling to a group of people.

The wrong way of doing social.

Most people have a Facebook page, a LinkedIn profile or Twitter handle. That’s a great start but what is wrong is that most people post on their business page say at 8am, when it happens to be convenient to them. The problem is, you are expecting your target market to see this post, like it, engage with it, remember it and revisit it at the end of a day when they have had a day full of school runs, Uni, work, commuting, cooking and countless other real life distractions along with the thousands of posts they will see throughout the day.

The onus of engagement and follow up for most small business owners, and some larger businesses, must be on you!

How do you increase your social media relevance? This post from the marketing blog will help you!

Build relationships & get to know your audience

The 4 C’s of social selling. A handy little model for you to remember and apply to your own business. In my workshops and one to one work I talk about the importance of building communities and ‘tribes’ for your business. If you look online you will find enormous communities offering content around the most obscure things from Cosplay to Sourdough bread baking!

The 4 C’s of social selling.

The truth is, this is the key starting point to building an effective brand, to test, to engage and to keep in a holding pattern those people who aren’t ready (yet!) to buy from you. Modern marketing comes down more often than not to the strength of relationships with your chosen audience. It is now easier than ever, and indeed more necessary than ever, to build meaningful relationships with the right kind of people for your products or services.

Stop stuffing your pages and group and communities with people who are there for vanity only. Vanity will deliver nothing for the bottom line but frustrate you when things just don’t work.

I say it time and time again, but everyone is not your customer. You must define at least one group of people who can be identified by your own parameters. My business, like others who I work with also create several groups of people who in turn have a selection of products to serve their needs.

Once you identify your ideal customer type and have set up a platform to build and nurture relationships it now comes down to serving these people with high end, epic content! If you are unsure where to start with content marketing, or if content creation is something new to you, be sure to check out Joe Pulizzi’s great book, Epic Content Marketing and be sure to check out the Content Marketing Institute too!

Through great content, shared with your community with no expectation of the sale, comes engaging and important conversations. This is where the social selling can really come in to play. How you take your prospect from consuming your content to engaging your content to convert from your content will take time, practice and skill. The process must be seamless and it must be organic.

Are you selling products that can genuinely help your market?

When people say to me that they feel awkward asking for the sale my thoughts are that they may not have built enough trust from what they have offered so far, they have not positioned the value in their offering well enough to make the sale easy, or, more often, they are selling the right product to the wrong people!

Social selling should be an important part of your strategy, part of your customer journey, and most definitely something you pay more attention to as you build your digital offering.

The relationship between sales and marketing

Where does sales as a function sit in your business? As a marketing professional I see sales as a function of marketing, as all business is; marketing is business after all!

I think sales as a function can only successfully happen if marketing has set up the field to ‘score the goal’. Like a well tuned football team passing from the back, building up play and setting up the striker to tap in to an empty goal; when marketing and sales work together it can be a joy to watch, the seamless nature of the process making it invevitable that the sale will occur.

What is your relationship currently with sales?

For more about sales training in Sheffield, or about understanding the sales mindset, you should be checking out The Sales Mindset Coach, who offers a tremendous service helping smaller business enjoy selling. Check it out!

Do you see it as an effective function of your business or something to be frowned inevitable? As if the sale should just happen with no ‘pushing over the line’ ?

For more marketing training, advice and opinion be sure to check out other articles on the blog!

We are on a mission to empower the Sheffield City Region understand and implement effective, modern marketing on their business. Join us at the Power Hour Network, a monthly marketing workshop and networking event in Sheffield that helps business owners large and small implement marketing from industry leaders.

Contact us today to see how we can help you!

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