Social must be used for Selling
- Markets are Conversations as found in the Cluetrain Manifesto. More than ever those conversations take place online, customer are actively engaging with each other within the social ecosystem relevant to their passion, expertise or cause they fight for.
- Business are relationships. 80% of businesses are generated through referrals. Its well known that the true value of a sales person is its network of relations. And it goes beyond sales!
Top social media experts says the same thing here (and they’ve been saying it for many years now):
Bottom line, conversations and relationships are the keystones of social media.
I don’t know about you but cold calling and email out of nowhere are now just spam.
Here’s what an engineer put quite bluntly in his LinkedIn profile:
“I don’t know how to be more explicit about this—RECRUITERS: never contact me. Calling is a giant “fuck you” to me and email is a waste of your time. I don’t read your emails. If you’re not a recruiter and want to hire me, try convincing someone I know to talk to me about you. That’s the only way I’ll listen”
So what’s going on here?
Well, it’s easier to find people, social give people access to others that would never have been accessible. We’re all out there with profiles about who we are, content about our interests and tastes. Most of the time there’s a way to contact us and bang is the spam.
Case in point, here’s what I received today:
First of all I’d like to introduce myself. My name is (hidden) and I am the Chief Business Officer at (hidden). I have found your profile on LinkedIn and, given your role, thought that it might be a good idea to contact you and offer some services that could be of interest to you or your company”
While polite, this message doesn’t provide any reason for me to take action -> Ignored.
Today, if you’re in sales/biz dev and more, It’s key to try and establish a relationship prior to contact. It isn’t without challenges.
So it goes that way:
If you find me, contact me and I don’t know you -> Ignored
If you find me, contact me with something relevant to some content I published -> Remembered and perhaps we start a relationship
If you find me, convince someone I know to talk to me -> Gold because the someone I trust is telling me to talk to you.
Say, your company sells database administration or video conferencing software
1) Have you sales people listen to the conversations from your prospects. Their conversations is your market. Chances a lot will be on database administration, giving you a chance to engage.
2) Understand the nature of the relationship between you and them. Business is relationships. Find someone who knows you that know them.