The interesting thing about becoming really good at using social media is that most people already have the skills but simply don’t use them.
Traditionally the sales role has been one of “numbers” – phone more people, arrange more coffees, sell more stuff, and whilst that’s still the case the elephant in the room is that most people you call don’t return the messages you leave (no matter how good those messages are). A cold call like this invariably achieves the same result – nothing – because you can rarely actually speak to someone and on those occasions when you can they are often too busy to speak, or aren’t interested right now. Salespeople live for the “okay, how can you help” response.
The “numbers” element of the sales process doesn’t ever change (do more = sell more) but what has changed is how to get the maximum benefit for your skills.
For a social seller their day always contains these elements:
- finding and connecting to more appropriate people
- messaging people who are already connections
- creating content
- engaging with people
1. Finding and connecting with people is crucial.
But you must develop the understanding that the “net” needs to be cast wider than you might first imagine. In the famous Gartner/CEB research they estimate that 10+ people are involved in the decision making process for the purchase of complex products and services. You don’t know who all those 10+ people are – you know the team might include the Head of Finance, Marketing Director, Managing Director (for example) but the other people who help influence the decision might well not be obvious. So you need to connect to lots of people within the target account so you have a nice broad coverage.
2. Messaging existing connections
Most people who have been on LinkedIn for a while have 1000+ connections and they don’t really “know” most of those people. Messaging them and asking for a networking chat to hear what they do and explain what you do is never time wasted. These people will usually qualify-out or express interest quite quickly. Don’t sell…just explain – because if you pursue people at this stage you will probably turn them off the idea of having a call with you next time you ask.
3. Creating content
Helps to keep you front of mind with these people who you have just connected to and messaged (and others of course). Perhaps because of the algorithm, perhaps because of human nature (perhaps both), but once you have started to message people they start to see and interact with your content more…so keep engaging with that pool of people who are already seeing what you do.
Whether it’s people you are already connected to, people you’re messaging to arrange coffees, people you are targeting or people who are championing your content keep engaging with people. This is vital because like you, these people forget very quickly. You need to remain front of mind always.
Time…of but I don’t have time!
How much time should one spend doing these things each day? That’s a difficult question to answer. I try to allocate 30 minutes per day per activity…I struggle to manage that every day though. Not because “I’m too busy” doing my other tasks, but because this strategy is enormously effective.
I find that I spend two weeks doing this every day and one week dealing with the output of these efforts. As I write this, I have 9 new meetings next week and 4 new business phone calls after having had 4 calls this week and 5 meetings. All with new people (or people I’ve not seen for a long time).
I read a post last week on LinkedIn from a cold calling salesman. He was really good, really persistent and took a huge number of knockbacks from people. Over the course of the last 12 months he made 22,214 dials, had 831 conversations which led to 75 meetings. Of those 831 conversations most of them were clearly people who gave him the opportunity to speak but weren’t interested as he only achieved a 11:1 conversations to meetings ratio but he never lost focus nor felt downhearted. I don’t know how many sales he/they made from this.
At the current rate I’m generating an average of 7 meetings per week – that means 350 per year. I don’t know if this is good or bad, but what I do know is that this guy from LinkedIn is a full-time salesman and if I was full-time sales (doing this 8 hours per day) at this rate I could generate c. 1400 meetings per year. But I am not. I spend the vast bulk of my time creating IP, implementing with clients and training various DLAignite team members.
It could be that this guy was really useless (I expect that isn’t true) of I am really brilliant (I know that isn’t true)…or the DLAignite way of doing this is really effective (which is clearly true). This is a process and, like losing weight, getting fit or becoming a vegetarian, it requires discipline and perseverance. It does NOT require any superpowers, it doesn’t not require huge swathes of your time and it certainly doesn’t require a thick skin and not feelings!
You need to recognise that what I’m doing, you too can do…if you want to.
If you would like to generate a huge flow of new business meetings we can provide you with the tools and the knowhow get in touch.
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