I’ve met so many SDR’s and prospectors who totally get the concept of social selling and actually use it. Of course, there are many who still don’t get it, but the issue I’ve found is they haven’t got a routine for bringing the social element into their cadence.
They will email and call prospects as they are comfortable with their routine doing that. Call, email, track in CRM, add a reminder to follow up in 4 days. Repeat…
It’s not like that with social, reps and teams, managers don’t plan when they will use social touches to progress the conversation and keep a level of communication through the buying process.
Time to bring some order into the ways you use social for sales…
Most reps will use LinkedIn or Sales Navigator to look for leads and accounts to reach out to. Some will look on Twitter for the decision maker and influencers on their team.
My challenge for you is to forget that.
Find who your top 5 or 10 prospects in the account are (however many are relevant) and Google them all. Find their Medium page, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Quora, everything.
Who cares if that’s “creepy”…think about information gathering!
I researched a decision maker in an account I really wanted to speak to, he had a seriously good SoundCloud page with a number of tracks he had created. It had 69 followers and I became his 70th, I made sure I mentioned this when I reached out. I can guess at how many other reps have ever mentioned his SoundCloud when reaching out.
The point is, social selling is not LinkedIn and Twitter. It’s personal and professional connection through the available channels online.
Fill out the notes section in your CRM for these prospects and pack it full of information, links to their channels and what you have found. Become a sales enablement person for a few minutes and truly get to know that person before you make contact. I don’t care if it sounds creepy.
Enterprise companies will expect you to know as much about their business as humanly possible. Use this approach to wow your prospects at all levels you sell to.
Your first touch may well be a social connection or interaction. This is pretty common, reps always use this to “warm up their cold outreach”.
If you have found enough information (personal, or business-context) to connect then evaluate where best to make your first touch. If you find 12 great LinkedIn articles and blogs on their company site, social is perfect. Share a post, leave a comment and connect referencing the posts. Simple.
If not, use your other channels and messaging. But I always connect with a prospect on social regardless of the channel I reach out on. For all I know, they might hate email and love LinkedIn. Be reachable wherever they should want to have a conversation.
For the personal information you can find, its best to reach out using this on Twitter where possible. People are more likely to share this sort of content on Twitter and in all likelihood, you would need to connect with someone on LinkedIn to view their posts of this nature anyway.
It begs the question “how did you find my post if we aren’t connected” too.
The important thing when reaching out using social media is to give the best reason for connecting and starting a conversation. If you can find great articles written by the company or the person you’re reaching out to, use it over any messaging you might have created.
Remember we are:
- People first
- Then staff at a company
For the most part, everyone lives under those 3 points in the same order. So don’t go rushing into a connection with your brilliant messaging if you can use a whole bunch of personal and professional context just because your company-related messaging is tight.
This is where you’ll find the most benefit from this article – I always go and perform a social touch on my socially active prospects on the day of a discovery call. Normally I do this just after the call when I have sent the summary email or the initiation of the next steps.
This is an easy touch to add to your process.
- Next steps email
- Social touch
Decision makers get used to having disco calls and then not hearing from the rep until the next call. It stinks of not being interested in the person or business, not being really invested in your solution and their problems or goals.
So take that extra step to go and look at what you have to play with on their social footprint. If they’re posting a new article per day on LinkedIn and Twitter go and share the post and tag them back crediting them.
Go and see what their team are doing and reference something good they did in a message to them. Something short like the following, which I have done:
“Hey! I forgot to say, X Name On Your Team posted a killer video on LinkedIn about X yesterday. I loved that”
My aim with the message above was completely about the rapport with the prospect. I’d got the next steps, had the call and everything was in good stead.
My little extra effort to mention this showed I’m actually interested in how the team at hand was doing and I notice the cool things they do. I genuinely do, so it came naturally to say that to the prospect.
Recommended: 4 Genuine Ways to Provide Value with Social Selling
It’s pretty quick and easy to find this sort of context to drop into a message, so think of this touch as a 5 minute extra after your call. Not an hour of research.
Pre-Important buying cycle stage
Typically, this important buying cycle stage could be your demo or the first meeting with all senior stakeholders. Whatever it is based on your product/service and the nature of your deal, adjust this accordingly.
When I demo prospects I go and drop another social touch an hour or so before the meeting starts. This is a nice way to show my face before the meeting without asking them if they’re going to come to it.
Personally, there’s nothing wrong with doing that but emailing to ask that question just means you want to have them on the call. Me showing my face with some social love before gives them that reminder mentally and gives them some actual benefit on social. So for me, it’s social all the way with this.
I try where possible to not do the exact same thing as I did just after the disco call. This is especially important if you have a long deal cycle with many meetings needed to progress it. You’ll become predictable and the prospect can almost think you’re doing it for the sake of it.
Try to mix up your social touches. It doesn’t always have to be a message or a social share of their content. Sometimes where I see relevant I will send a person I know on social to connect with the prospect – something like this…
- Prospect and social connection are in similar roles and should network
- Prospect and social connection might be able to help each other in business
- Prospect and social connection share something in common (specifics)
When I get this to happen I make it clear they are more than welcome to mention I coordinated the introduction. It’s not because I deserve a medal for it, but it gives both people a common ground and context to begin speaking about.
“How do you know Ollie?”
“I know him from LinkedIn, we connected and spoke about X. How do you know him?”
“I had the same thing happen, he mentioned you’re doing a great job at X!”
This is the business end of the process. I think solely of value at this stage, we have built all the rapport we need and should have helped the prospect to achieve and get what they need.
It’s now a chance to provide a last piece of value before the meeting we can close the deal on. So the day before or early on the day of the meeting it’s a good idea to go into your prospect’s profiles and pull out their key asset you can share out.
Is it their best pulse article, a new eBook on their company website, their podcast appearance, news on their company, anything that is significant. Work out which one is their most important piece of content or context you can share out. Go and share it out and tag them of course.
Small hack: ask a handful of trusted colleagues to drop a like on your post if you see fit. 1 or 2, not 12. Just give the post a chance to lift off, let them see you are sharing them to your network, a couple of your comrades have noticed and endorsed the content, their second network will see the content and can become aware of the company and prospect’s work.
This share at this stage of the cycle is key.
Imagine a competitive deal between 5 agencies pitching to be a digital partner for an enterprise client. The team and reps who are providing the exposure for the prospects, who have the trust and respect as well as capability to deliver the expected work will be favoured.
It all goes back to the way we all see business. I’m a person, then I became a professional and I’m doing that at a company.
Sure my work might be a lot easier or better with your solution, but if I see you take interest in my trip to a football game at the weekend, last blog post and news about my company, it’s clear you’re really invested in the deal and the outcome. Not just the cash it brings to your commission cheque and the company bank balance.
The huge mistake that happens all the time is when reps close a deal and then move on to the next one. There is a calendar event in their diary to check in with the customer in 6 months and upsell them the next level of service. No…
The customer knows full well what the call will entail.
Just because they sign a cheque for your service or product means nothing in accordance with your social behaviour and relationship with the person and team. It’s 6x easier to upsell an existing client than to win a new one, so keep advocating the customer on social and keep that rapport up. Do not let it die.
You don’t need to have a strict regime of sharing their content every 4 days or however you want to do it. Just make sure over a week or two you have seen what they’re doing and dropped a share and like here and there.
If you are having trouble working out exactly what you need to do on social and when for prospects, give me a message on social. I’ll happily help you out.