What would happen if social sellers did away with product-related content and only shared industry news? Or if they stopped sharing altogether and only used social media to consume content? Chances are the success of their social selling activity would take a serious blow.
In reality, these are two things social sellers should not do. They should, however, make sure they demonstrate knowledge that goes beyond what they’re selling, and put aside time to make the most of the research opportunities social media offers. Here’s why.
Don’t Just Sell a Product: Build a Profile
Social selling involves communicating about the context and industry that surrounds a given service, as well as the service itself. Faced with a large number of potential vendors, prospects are drawn to those who don’t just know a product inside out, but who can also provide knowledge and expertise about the industry in question, other products on the market, potential use cases, success stories, and so on. This is the sort of contextual information that enables social sellers to build a strong online profile and help prospects to make informed purchasing decisions.
Social Selling for Research
Social selling is about researching as well as sharing; an important aspect of any social seller’s activity is using social networks not only to share content and engage in conversations, but also to stay up to date on industry developments, explore relevant topics, and follow competitors’ activity. As well as enabling them to nurture relationships with clients and prospects, social media allows sales professionals to access a wealth of data and information that can inform and enhance their everyday work.
Selling: One of Many Steps
Social selling involves favoring a sharing mindset over a selling mindset – even if a sales transaction is what both sales professionals and audiences themselves may often have in mind. Although selling a product or service is the ultimate aim, a large part of the social selling funnel involves gaging prospects’ needs and sharing wider industry expertise; rather than pitches and proposals, early conversations involve providing industry-related data and context. Such sharing activity helps sales professionals to build stronger relationships with new and existing customers.
These are three key areas to focus on when it comes to social selling, but they’re not the only ones. Here are some more articles on how to get the most out of a social selling initiative: