Recently I attended the Sales is Social webinar by HootSuite’s Marketing Manager Ashley Brookes and LinkedIn's Head of Marketing Ralf Vonsosen, with social media success stories shared by Ashley Hedge. The webinar discussed how social media is changing sales and detailed how to make the most of LinkedIn and HootSuite for sales, prospecting, and branding.
This blog will provide a brief recap of the key points outlined in the Sales is Social webinar:
- What is Social Selling? Ralf opened the webinar with a definition of what social selling is and I feel that it's fitting to do the same. He defined it as "leveraging relationships and insights to create a better buying experience and not idle chatter or small talk". What social selling represents when used correctly is the opportunity to build trust with your buyers and potential prospects. Ralf explained that the best way to go about building trust is to demonstrate that you understand your prospects, that you understand their business, and that you understand their problems.
- Leverage Your Social Network Social media provides a new avenue to find prospects and new contacts to reach out to. You can use your connections and the connections of your team to prospect for new business, reach decision makers, or gain an introduction to an extended network connection. Ralf explained that in addition to helping you reach the decision maker, a warm introduction from your network can help you gain trust by extending your contacts credibility onto you. This will help make your prospect more receptive to your message. The more you grow your network and extend your reach the more you will be able to strengthen your sales team.
- Gather Intelligence From Your Network Each of your connections represents an opportunity to gather additional information on your prospects that may not be found on their company website or stored within your customer relationship management system. Social updates can provide you with the most current information and may serve as a trigger event to help you sell or provide you with an opportunity to interact and build a stronger relationship. The information that you gather will help you better relate to your prospects and build a stronger message.
- Add Insight to Build Trust Ralf advised that an easy way to build trust is by adding value to your social network. In the case of LinkedIn, he recommended that sales members should participate in discussions and groups to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding. Be sure to consider what information you can provide your network or where you can direct them for additional information. This will help your sales team be seen as subject matter experts and add strength to your organizations brand.
Social media represents a powerful tool that can be used in a variety of ways to help you build a stronger network, a stronger brand, and ultimately help boost sales. If you enjoyed this blog but missed the opportunity to watch the webinar live, you can watch the full recording over at HootSuite Social. If you would like to learn more about how to get started with twitter or use LinkedIn for sales be sure to download our free whitepapers.