Social Selling In The Digital Age
Improve Your Marketing & Social Selling Efforts in 3 Simple Steps
By: iSimplyAssist LLC
Do you find yourself skimming over marketing copy that is filled with jargon and buzzwords?
I certainly do and here is why: as modern consumers how we buy has drastically changed.
Your task as a modern day sales person is to get the WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) straight – period. Most modern consumers are not willing to sit through a laundry list of facts and figures about your product or service. In the modern age, people want BENEFITS & PROOF. Simply put, we respond better to marketing and sales messages, with carefully curated content to explain exactly what your product or service does, what it has done for others and most importantly – what will it do for me, before imparting with our hard-earned cash. So how do savvy modern marketing or sales professionals overcome the challenges that have been imposed by the digital age to fill the pipeline and close more business?
This part of the sales process has never changed. When it comes to selling and marketing a product or service understanding the customers’ wants and needs should be at the top of your list. A great way to truly understand the customer is by creating a buyer persona: “for each buyer persona profile, we want to know as much as we can about a group of people. What are their goals and aspirations? What are their problems? What media do they rely on for answers to problems? How can we reach them? We want to know, in detail, the things that are important for each buyer persona. What words and phrases do the buyers use? What sorts of images and multimedia appeal to each?” THE NEW RULES OF MARKETING AND PR, by David Meerman Scott.
Listen to what the customer is saying and utilize the proper channels to constantly analyze and reorganize the customer profile based on their activities and the conversations that you have had, this is where a great CRM system could be your best friend. People who find the most success will spend time researching the market digitally AND socially to target the best product fit for the customer while updating the customer profile regularly to move with the current trend and need within a given industry. Remember that the key here is to take everything you have learned about your buyer and sell a solution, not a product.
2. Relevant Content Creation
“Content creation is an integral tool in engaging your target audience. When it comes to delivering content and securing audience engagement, LinkedIn is the most effective social media platform”. (LinkedIn, 2017) (Source: HubSpot)
There are several platforms that can be used to attract and engage your target audience, whether it is Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, an intelligent sales professional who has done their research, will choose which social platform is the best for engaging with their target audience. You want to ensure that the content which you are producing for your target audience stays relevant and valuable to them. The research that you have conducted should have provided a decent window into the type of content they are interested in and what needs they may have.
I personally find that the best content is educational it speaks directly to the needs of the audience and over time will position you as an authority instead of a pesky salesperson.
In the book THE 1-PAGE MARKETING PLAN, chapter 4 Capturing Leads, Dib states:
“A sample campaign might offer a free report or video series promising to educate your prospect about things they need to be aware of, how to avoid being ripped off and what they should look for. Once your prospect receives the value-packed information, you’ve delivered on all promises made in your advertisement. Your trustworthiness skyrockets. You’re positioned as the expert and set apart from your competition.”
3. Resolution Skills
“65% of salespeople who use social selling fill their pipeline, compared to 47% of reps who do not.” (HubSpot, 2018)
What is the best way to solve a customer’s problem? Give up? Empathy. The best way to discover where the customer is experiencing issues that you can resolve is to simply put yourself in their shoes. Listen to everything they say, ask the right questions and employ good research and data collection skills to put together a solution that works.
On-boarding and follow-up are a fantastic way to get an idea of what customers’ needs are, follow-up regularly and record everything in a database to ensure that you always have an account of key information the customer or prospect could have given you. With this information, you can set out to create an e-book, infographic, checklist or cheat sheet that they can use to assist with current issues they are having with their business. Everything you do should be to help your audience fix the problems that they have.
People are no longer interested in general statements which fire off long streams of data and facts, although this is important, what will get their attention is how the product or service which you are trying to market or sell to them is going to improve the problems and issues they are facing today or at least map out a clear actionable plan which will simply explain the value to them. Customers are always looking for solutions and those that use the digital and social tools within their arsenal will prevail.
Selling and marketing in the digital age will only prove challenging to marketers and sellers that do not take the time to find the right resources and tools to use in their modern-day arsenal. Not listening to the needs of the prospect will also cause lost opportunities. The best sellers will take everything they have learned from the prospect and create a solution which serves as the answer. Spending too much time researching is also a sure way to lose time which could be spent getting to know the prospect, pinpointing issues and providing solutions.
What are your views on social selling? What are some of the tactics you employ which you have found successful?