People are more connected than ever because of technology. Honestly answer this: have you ever checked your email while sitting in the bathroom? Most of us might sheepishly answer: YES. Is it comforting to know that you’re not alone in your constant appetite to be in touch?
In the context of connectivity, the line between personal and professional life has now been eradicated by this unquenchable thirst for keeping in touch through technologies like the internet, mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.
Yet, with this unprecedented connectivity and potential access it is not any easier to do business development than it was before. Customers and prospects are more distracted. Earning their attention is more difficult than ever. I’m certain you’ve noticed this. Yet there are tactics today’s sales professional can employ that will result in meaningful connections.
So, what should you do?
Do Your Homework. Learn about the client, their company, their offerings, their pain points and their market. Your first attempts to connect with the prospective buyers may not stick but if you’ve done your homework on what specific needs you can fulfill, you will eventually break through. Make sure you are dealing with a person who either has purchasing-power, is the decision-maker, or who has influence on the buying decision. It may sound too simple, but focus on the places with the highest return. It should be part of an overall lead scoring system that every salesperson should employ. You already know the types of projects you are more likely to get and from who. Focus on getting more of them. Don’t waste time on “new” tactics, projects or client types. Know your sweet-spot and build on it.
Be Authentic. There is no silver bullet formula for social selling. Give up on the idea that a single process within your sales and marketing strategy will be the only path to lead generation and qualifying a sale. Business-to-business sales processes still function in a person-to-person arena. The “one-size-fits-all” approach was never an effective conversation in the past and this cookie-cutter mentality is definitely not valid in today’s business sphere. Sales development (or prospecting) is an investment, and the best sales professionals diversify their consultative approach.
Provide Value. Be an expert. Share useful content to your network on social media channels and email that demonstrates your knowledge and experience. Isn’t this what you are supposed to do? You can also reshare articles that you or someone else has written that your prospects will appreciate reading. Suggest blog topics to your marketing team that forms a practical content piece - something that aligns your company’s offerings to the needs of your prospective clients. See how they respond. Good content marketing combines with social selling activity to position sales reps as a trusted source of information and solutions.
Get Creative. Find the right method of contact for a qualified prospect. Perhaps it’s via SMS or Facebook message on the weekend -- every individual will respond differently. Sales reps who use social selling are 50% more likely to meet or exceed their sales quota. For prospects and customers, your posts and updates may serve as a resource for worthy information.
Creativity often involves some trial and error and also requires input of time. Don’t shy away from this sales investment and even re-investment of your marketing resources.
Get Social. What is social selling? When you use social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to leverage your social network and find the right prospects, build trusted relationships, and ultimately, achieve your sales goals. This sales technique enables better sales lead generation and sales prospecting process and eliminates the need for cold calling. Building and maintaining relationships is easier within the social media network that both you and your prospect actively engage in. Connecting this way allows you to form meaningful relationships, while leading them into your sales funnel.
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Principal & Marketing StrategistA results-driven creative thinker, Perry is a marketing management professional with a proven record of achievement in Strategic Planning, Team Leadership, and New Concepts Development.