There are 3 reasons why corporates don’t undertake a social selling programme or roll it out themselves into their organisation. They are:
- Feeling that it will take too much time, or not be efficient
- Sales reps won’t do what they need in order to do it
- They don’t believe social selling will benefit them
You wouldn’t be here reading if you’re a number 3, so I’m going to tackle the other 2 reasons with a solution.
Social Selling Touches – The Strategy for Efficiency
The reality is that when you’re social selling, it’s important to have a mixture of process and reliance on your experience and gut instinct.
Your process will guide you through how many touches with a prospect are needed before they may be ready to speak to you, but you will need your wits about you.
Getting to touch number X and then speaking privately might work for John Smith, but not everyone you speak to. Use your process as a guide but not always the strict rule you must follow in 100% of cases with 100% of prospects.
Understand the process
If you have a well-defined process and strategy behind your social selling, you’re halfway towards succeeding already. The most important part of social selling is your process, and touches are a good way to map out the process so that it is easy to know what to do and when.
When you have this in play, social selling actually takes a lot less time than you think.
When you have the process set up and optimised, you can actually spend as much time as you like working on sharing content, engaging and connecting with new people.
The fear a lot of businesses have about social selling is that it will take too much time, and their teams will not have as much time to get on the phones or email people.
Sales, of course, is a numbers game and the thought of taking time away from money-winning would make many Sales Managers or Directors shudder.
Social selling to me is the process of making sure your phone and email work are more effective by warming prospects using social media to build familiarity and rapport with your buyer.
Of course, in 30 years, buyer behaviours may have changed and sales will have to adapt again, to wherever the buyer spends their time. Today and tomorrow, it’s social media.
You get out what you put in if you do it right too.
Touches are what makes the process
A touch is when a person has had a dealing or engagement with you, and as they begin to have more touches with you it becomes more relevant and important to take the conversation private, and then offline.
Ultimately, this is the goal you want to aim for.
Along the way, there are things you can do that you should learn and pickup to help smooth through the process and make the relationship much stronger.
- Go to their demo, to learn their service of product
- Refer people from your network to them, if relevant and ready to speak to service providers
- Share their content, of course
- Other, there are a lot of ways to build the relationship but most are dependent on the case and what is appropriate for the specific prospect
The number of touches you need a prospect to go through before they should be spoken to privately depends on what you have to sell, and who they are as a person. A buyer persona is very important in social selling.
That’s especially so if you’re going to use LinkedIn Sales Navigator, where you’re going to search job titles, location, company names and many other things that you must have worked out beforehand.