Social Selling: How to Stop Being the Anti-Social BusinessTuesday, October 15, 2013 12:44
It seems as though the days of being able to keep to yourself are few and far between. That’s right you gotta be social. Not just politely saying “Hi” when someone walks by, but being that overly nice stranger who seems genuinely happy to have a conversation with anyone about anything. Although those people can be annoying, in sales it benefits greatly to be that person who interrupts people to talk about “how great the weather is”. You never know where that conversation can lead, and in a business atmosphere that friendly conversation can be your foot in the door to the early stages of a B2B sales relationship.
It All Started When Britney Wanted to Get Hit One More Time…
Social selling is simple if you think about it. Especially for those who have grown up with technology and the Internet it can be second nature to some. OK this might date some of you but stick with me through this next analogy. Social selling is like trying to flirt with your seventh grade crush. You haven’t ever talked in person before, besides that one awkward half wave where you were unsure if you’re really saying hi to one another. But finally one afternoon after a lovely day of middle school a friend of a friend happens to give you your secrets crush’s AIM screen name…oh yeah things are getting serious. You get home and boot up the old AOL service and after about a half hour you finally connect. You say something simple like “Hey what’s up?” or “How ‘bout that crazy gym teacher Mr. Howard today? LOL”. It can be just about anything. Something simple that you both have in common or can relate to. As you wait there with sweaty fingertips, and each second passing feels like hours, they are on the other side of that Internet connection deciding what to say back, if anything. Finally you get what you have been waiting for that amazing, astounding, monumental reply of…”Yeah LOL”. And just like that… you’re in. You chat all night until 10:30pm at night…ON A SCHOOL NIGHT. Before you know it one of you asks the other to be their boyfriend or girlfriend, and just like that you’re in a relationship without ever speaking to each other in person.
That Was a Great Story But… What Does it Have to do with Social Selling?
It is because of that story that I have coined the term “Flirt Business”. You need to flirt business in order to social sell. Now obviously, you’re not going to flirt with businesses the way you would with a person you’re actually interested in dating. But…the way you flirt with someone in real life is by finding out what they like and dislike as well as your similarities. This is what you will do via Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and all of those lovely social media sites. On Twitter you keep it to “short and sweet” business flirting since they only allow 140 characteristics. Tweet at (post to) a business you’re interested in with information about yourself or things that they might find interesting. Hash tagging which is this “#” (hopefully you knew that already) helps to basically mark things as a subject such as a tag for this blog could be #socialselling or #B2Bsales. These are things that are relative to your business but also relevant to other companies that you would like to market to. Retweet as well. Retweeting is to repost a tweet when you see a post that is relevant to you tweeted by another place of business. You are going to want to use #’s in just about every form of social media to get your posts in the right place of relevance. It’s just about the same in every other site such as Google+ and Facebook. Become friends, join the same circles, “like” pages all of businesses you want to gain contact with. Remember you want to be that person who is genuinely interested in just having a conversation at first.
Why It’s a Good Thing
Social selling is the newer more effective way of cold calling, WITHOUT BEING ANNOYING. Obviously if you post or tweet or whatever at one person or business page too much, it will become annoying. However it is not as annoying as cold calling because you’re not actually physically interrupting their day by calling them. It is their choice to respond to you or even check their own Twitter, Google+, or whatever social media site they’re using. A good way to keep tabs on all of this is to use an application called HootSuite.com. It’s a great tool that allows you to have all social media platforms up at once. This allows you to stay on top of your game in every way. If there is one thing you should take away from this blog it’s that “flirt business” to other companies via social media. Like any possible relationship you start small, and with all of these social media platforms to use it’s an easy way to get your foot in the door with future prospective business clients. By utilizing a strong target account list with social selling, you really can’t lose. Knowing what accounts to social sell to will put you at the head of the class (so to speak).
For more information on how to get your foot in the door with those special target accounts check out our target account builder here! http://www.salesquest.com/demo/Reports-Manager/