This article is about Social Selling for LinkedIn, in the Business to Business (B2B) world. The first and best platform for Social Selling is still LinkedIn. So what is it about LinkedIn for Social Selling?
The first thing is that there is 650 Million people on the platform, so pretty much everybody who is in work is on the platform. Or as a friend of mine said “if somebody is not on social media, what are they trying to hide?” Exactly!
Worth me stating at this point that when connect to you on social and then start to pitching at you, this is not social selling it’s spam. Put another way it’s cold calling on a social network.
How is this. In the past, legacy sales methods were based on interruption and broadcast. That is, you interrupt me with an advert, cold call, unsolicited email etc and the pitch at me. That is broadcast your message at me in some hope I will think your message is amazing and buy. Of course, in the world of the empowered buyer, this just pisses people off.
So How Can use Social Selling for LinkedIn?
The world of buying has changed, buyers are looking for an expert to help them, a person who can guide them through the sales process.
As a sales person you need to position yourself as that expert. You need to remove all that bullshit “I’m a tenacious, energetic salesperson”. First, everybody writes this so you have set yourself up as “just another salesperson”. Ever since my first day in sales, I’ve tried to look different from my competitors, to stand out, to be differentiated.
You therefore need a personal brand. This sounds like a high mountain to climb. It’s not and very straight forward. Don’t talk about yourself using business jargon, talk about yourself in simple language that your buyers will understand.
They are looking for help, they are NOT looking for a spammer or a manipulative sales person.
Along side a personal brand, you need a strong network. So while you have a network of ex-colleagues and recruiters this isn’t going to help you sell.
You need to grow your network in terms of customers, prospects, people you would like to sell too.
We have this saying at DLA Ignite dlaignite.com “don’t sell to you network, sell through it”. Your network will help you prospect on social and your network will help you get higher, faster than legacy sales methods.
By the way, those that tell you this is not possible. First ask them if they have tried and second check out their personal brand and network. If you don’t have either, you are going to find it difficult.
The third thing you need is content. You can find content through free apps like Flipboard, there are plenty of others. Better still you can write your own content.
Realise this sounds scary, this isn’t a 2,000 white paper that nobody reads. What they want is a quick 300 – 500 word article they can snack on. Just like this one.
We, sales people are the worlds best communicators so exercise that writing muscle and get writing. As I say, this is a simple blog, no pitching about our company. And I’ve embedded key words in here to give us favourable search engine optimisation (SEO).
You (and your company if you do this as a co-ordinated program across your business) will soon end up with pages of key word indexed, SEO sexy content. You could even dump that paid media budget or swap it to social.
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