There’s never been a better time to be in sales. In this era of social media, social selling is the evolution of sales. Buyers are always connected and constantly on social media, learning more about your company and competitors. Social media has changed the buying process and as a result, the selling process.
In this article, I’m going to share with you and bust 5 social selling myths that might be keeping you from closing the deals and earning the commissions, that top business owners and sales professionals are doing using social selling.
3Ps of Social Selling – Prospect. Position. Present.™
Did you know that 89% of purchases (75% for B2B) start with an online search? Today’s socially savvy buyers don’t even contact you (or your competitors) until 57% of the purchase process is complete. Social selling provides you with a never before seen opportunity to influence buyers to approach your business.
So what exactly is social selling? It’s the practice of incorporating social networks in your sales process, what I call the 3Ps of Social Selling – Prospect. Position. Present.™ Social selling doesn’t replace the sales fundamentals, but instead evolves them. Today, social media provides business owners and sales professionals with the opportunity to engage with future customers directly without even picking up the phone. No more buying lists. No more cold calls. No more gatekeepers.
In a previous article, I shared an overview of the 10 Essential Steps of Social Selling™ , including the 3Ps of Social Selling – Prospect. Position. Present.™ In this article, I’ll take the first one of those ten steps and go deeper, so before you know it, you’ll start using social media to generate leads, stand apart from competitors and close more deals faster and easier than ever before.
Prospect – Find Your Audience
You need to know where your target customers are congregating on social media. Success in social selling requires discovering the top three ways of consistently reaching a large number of your ideal target customer. Why three ways? Well, to avoid putting all of your eggs in one basket with just one way and to avoid spreading yourself too thin in time and money with more than three ways. Sticking to your top three ways of consistently reaching a large number of your ideal target customer is manageable and will keep you focused.
Why the word “consistently”? Because anything other than being consistent doesn’t work. If you’re thinking that you can hit the jackpot with the occasional promoted post, you need to think again. Spending hundreds of dollars on that type of strategy will almost guarantee you a negative return on your investment. And there’s nothing less effective than joining a discussion group, posting or answering one question and not following up on that discussion or building the relationship with other members. Your audience needs to see you as consistent and credible before trusting your message.
Why the words “large number”? Because you’ll need to reach lots of prospects in order to achieve your income goals and make the best use of your time. Consider using LinkedIn to find the groups your customers belong and if there are more than 10,000 members, become a top contributor (start by commenting in discussions) of those groups as a way of reaching customers in large number. Group participants also get 4x the number of profile views.
5 Social Selling Myths
Here are the top-5 social selling myths that might be keeping you from closing the deals and earning the commissions, that top business owners and sales professionals are doing using social selling. Let’s bust them!
Myth – You don’t need an online presence to sell.
Truth – 89% of purchases (75% for B2B) start with an online search!
Myth – A website is good enough.
Truth – How much traffic is coming to your website? 82% of the world’s population is reached by social networking sites!
Myth – Social media is for marketing not sales.
Truth – 64% of sales teams who use social selling reach sales quotas (and 15% more contract renewals) versus 49% who do not adopt it!
Myth – Discussion groups are a waste of time.
Truth – 40% of customers are using LinkedIn Groups to vet their decisions. You should be part of those discussions!
Myth – Cold calling is most effective.
Truth – The average sales rep needs to make 8 cold calls to get through to the right contact. 63% of B2B decision makers engage with vendors (likely your competition) on social media!
When I’m speaking with business owners and sales professionals, many of them struggle with figuring out which platforms to be on. You’re probably wondering, “what’s the most effective social media platform to use in selling?” Here’s a quick solution. Send a quick email to your top-10 customers asking what’s the best social media platform to connect with them. Then send them a connection invitation on their preferred platform and start spending time where they (and prospective customers) are congregating.
- Tom Abbott is the author of 'The SOHO Solution' and 'Social Selling' and the creator of the online sales training platform SOCO Academy. Sales leaders engage Tom for his proven solutions to building high performance sales teams that exceed targets and for motivational keynotes that energise their audiences.