A Lot of Social, No Much Selling

Social platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and more have proliferated in the last two decades. In the last several years, many top sites have infiltrated the business environment as a way to expand the footprint of organizations, to help solidify branding, networks, and business social presence.

Along side this, many so-called gurus flocked the market to bring methodologies, practices and approaches to connect with prospects and sell them their product or services. Many organizations have been able to do this successfully by introducing social selling, a digital selling strategy associated with the various platforms. While this approach has been properly implemented by many organizations, there are individuals that have adopted a rogue version of social selling. They go out on their own, connecting with, whom they perceive, are their ideal customers. They send random invitations and add no significant value, while attempting to pitch from the onset of the connection. These individuals spend hours browsing the web, looking at their social platforms, endlessly and randomly connecting without a rhyme or reason, thinking they are actually “selling.”

On the other hand, there are organizations that have embraced the social channels to amplify their brand and those of their employees. They enrich the social waves with great content, valuable information, as well as solutions to tangible problems aimed at their ideal customers. These organizations have created followers, many of whom have turned into customers.

The success of the social selling approach resides largely in the ability of organizations to have a comprehensive digital selling strategy. This approach is complementary to the other forms of branding, business development and lead generation that companies have. It includes, but is not limited to, the use of other digital selling technologies such as CRM, online presentations, and sales automation, to name a few. Digital selling becomes the umbrella, while social selling is one of the tactics.

So the next time you feel tempted to connect with your ideal prospect and then start pitching, recognize that this is not social selling. We have seen organizations with huge gaps in their pipeline as a result of time wasted by their sales development/business development organizations browsing and searching the social channels with very little success.

So how do you go about it?

1.   Integrate your social selling strategy as part of the overall game plan to prospect for new customers, along with a social selling and strategy.

2.   Digital selling is good when coupled with other time-proven approaches, like the phone.

3.   Make it comprehensive, part of your overall prospecting game plan.

4.   Leverage all channels.

5.   Leverage your company’s assets and content.

6.   Bring insights and focus on the most relevant problems your buyer persona wants to tackle, add value with each interaction.

When your phone approach is successfully complemented with very targeted emails and the power of the social channels as part of a omni channel prospecting strategy, you will see your activity and connections increase. Most importantly, the engagement with your ideal customer will become greater, and the end result will be growth in your pipeline with more deals closed.