If social selling is going to happen, how are we going to drive new business from Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn? Many people are wondering if these relatively new social tools are really worth the investment. If you invest the time and effort to build your profile, push messages out to the cyber world, and listen to the feedback of your tribe, will your sales results really be impacted in any significant way? If you’re a salesperson today, these may be the very questions keeping you up at night. You have to decide if the next hour of your time is better spent picking up the phone, sending an email, shooting out a text message, or figuring out how to use social media. If you already know how to use social tools, then you have to decide how much time to spend building your network, developing messages, and listening to your connections versus setting an appointment and going out to have a face-to-face sales conversation.
What role does social media play in today’s selling process? This is the question each salesperson will have to answer based on their specific industry, company, and offering. There really is no simple answer. Each of us has to know our business and our prospect and customer-base well enough to understand how effective social selling approaches are going to be. There are some people who are turned off by new technologies and are even offended when they are used. In fact, one of my recommendations these days for the qualifying process is to ask people about their use of technology. Make sure you take the time to ask your prospect how they are using the web today, and how they prefer to interact. Some people prefer the phone, others prefer email, and still others prefer social sites. This is very important to understand before you engage in any significant communication with a new relationship. I call it organizational NLP. (Neurolinguistic Programming) One of the things NLP teaches is mirroring. The idea is to subtly mirror the physical posture and behaviors of the person you are interacting with in order to build rapport. This idea applies organizationally. It’s important to understand how an organization is using social media and other technologies and then to adjust your approach based on their behavior.
Jim is a 30 year veteran of Fortune 500 sales and marketing with companies such as Oracle, Dell, and EMC, as well as Hilton and Omni hotels. His passion lies in helping emerging growth companies raise funds by leveraging the marketing tools and strategies that large corporations typically use. His focus is simple. “Help Businesses Raise Capital!”