If you didn’t know, social selling is a reaction to the self-educated buyer. But in spite of the name, it is not selling on social. It’s subtler than that.
Let’s start at the beginning
This isn’t about social selling vs cold calling. We as sellers no longer call the shots. Buyers have access to the internet, and start their buying process on-line. They research your products and services, your competitor products and service, they can also look you up.
We all do it and so do our prospects.
There are many gurus out there who will offer you social selling programs and while they fit under a social selling umbrella they are in fact about social marketing.
So what’s the difference?
Social marketing courses will teach you about demand generation. How to get meetings and leads. All good stuff, but they won’t explain how to use social to progress pipeline, nurture pipe and take clients through to close by using social.
I’m not saying there is anything wrong with that. We all need more leads and meetings and at DLA we can teach you that. But once you have created the lead how do you use social through the sales cycle?
You can accelerate the pipe using social, (over non-social pipe) a subject of a previous blog of mine, with case study examples.
So, social selling does mean a different way of working. Which actually requires you as sellers to empower buyers to buy. None of us likes being sold to and the modern buyer will proactively avoid sales people.
That requires us not to sell, sell, sell, like we did in the past. But to be trusted and help people. This is a change to the way we sold in the past.
The mistake brands make is that they believe that social selling is there to distrust their content. It isn’t. In fact it is often a shock to marketers that in fact nobody cares about your brand or branded content.
So how do we get new skills?
Training is always a vital subject, something we take very seriously here at DLA. If it does not “move the needle” we don’t do it, which is why we don’t do web training.
We have been asked too many times by people to sort out social selling projects that have been delivered over the web. Fail. Why? We have found that the web does not get the people and process change you need.
Change requires us to understand why you need to change. This is more about psychology than facts or reason.
In addition, how do you embed the new behaviours so people don’t just go back to doing what they did before?
How will you mentor your team outside of the training program. Again this is about taking all staff along with the project and not just the “ninjas”. So often we find that people say they “get social” in training courses, but don’t.
No employee left behind!
Finally, as I’ve mentioned before, LinkedIn training alone is not social selling training. LinkedIn is only 30% of your social graph. By implementing a LinkedIn only social program means you are leaving money on the table and placing your pipeline at risk!
Digital Leadership Associates: We are a Social Media Agency. We do three things: Social Media Strategy, Social Selling and Social Media Management. Drop us an email and let’s talk about how we can make an impact on your organisation.