If you wish to buy a washing machine for your house, where do you look first?
Chances are, you would be looking up online in your social media accounts, asking for recommendations from your community, reading comments and reviews, and gathering as much information you can before coming down to a single decision.
Similarly, 71% of consumers are more likely to make purchases based on social media referrals and 78% of them are impacted by companies’ social media posts.
The introduction of social media into our lives has changed us completely. From our eating habits to our decision making power, each area of our life is heavily influenced by the virtual community and the content we consume.
With social media, the process of buying and selling has become simpler, informative, hassle-free, and more efficient.
What is Social selling?
Social selling is the art of using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. to connect with customers around the globe, understand their needs and requirements by providing them value, and building a sense of trust and credibility for your business or organization.
Now, social selling does not refer to sending messages to everyone’s inboxes and selling them straight up or misguiding them. That’s called spamming.
It merely means building relations by identifying the audiences’ pain points and guiding them through it, in making a purchase that solves their problems and brings profits in the long run.
And, with the social media platforms gaining a broad amount of users daily, it only made more sense for the businesses to reach out to people and deepen their ties with their existing clients while looking for prospective customers.
Why is Social Selling important?
In earlier times, a salesperson was often seen as a person who is manipulative and makes you buy stuff even when you may not need it.
But, gone are the days when the customer wasn’t aware of their needs and wants. Nowadays, a customer knows exactly what they want and is more likely to have done their research before approaching a business.
Establishing valuable relationships with customers and prospects is a part of modern sales practice and the organizations are rapidly following these practices to stand out from their competitors.
The many benefits of incorporating social selling into your sales cycle are:
- Social sellers are 51% more likely to achieve sales quotas and 78% of them are outselling their peers every single time.
Social selling is all about building a rapport with your target audience before they buy your product or service. It’s about understanding the problem of your customer and educating them about how your service can solve it and bring profits to them. Frequent engagements and sharing valuable content like blogs and case studies make the sales cycle shorter and targets achievable.
- 31% of sales professionals agree that social selling has allowed them to build deeper relationships with their clients.
No one likes to read selling messages at the very beginning of a conversation. Social media gives a sneak-peek into the person’s lives disclosing their place of education, hobbies, interests, and opinions. Having access to such information helps salespeople strike an initial conversation and break the ice, paving a smooth road for future discussions.
- 76% of buyers are ready to have a social media conversation with potential providers.
Your potential customer must be bombarded with many messages in their inbox. Social selling can make you stand out from them. Nurturing your prospects and customers makes them feel special and enables them to see the hard work and time you invest in the growth of that relationship. Thus, during the time of purchase, they will be more inclined towards you who made an effort to approach them differently.
- Companies with proper social selling strategies are 40% more likely to hit revenue goals than non-social sellers.
A company creating useful content for its audience and engaging with them on a timely basis builds a strong brand image and connects with potential buyers while expanding its reach to new audiences.
- 92% of B2B buyers are wanting to engage with an organization that is a pioneer of their industry.
Buyers want to engage and do business with credible, honest, experienced, and authentic people and companies. This means, gaining knowledge and learning by working diligently with people and then, imparting the same wisdom back to the audience in the form of content that educates and informs them. Social media provides a platform for salespeople to showcase their expertise in their domain and in turn help people address their concerns throughout the buying process.
Tips to up your social selling game.
- Know where your target audience is.
Various social media platforms offer different audiences and are used for different purposes by sales professionals around the world. LinkedIn, seen as the professional social networking site is an ideal place for B2B companies whereas Facebook has often been chosen by B2C companies to connect with their target audience and generate leads.
- Research well.
Social media offers an amazing opportunity to know the person before starting a conversation.
Factors like school and university attended by your audience, their opinions in the form of comments, and shared posts are a great way to know the company you are approaching and will probably help you get the desired reply.
- Be your prospects’ well-wisher. A successful salesperson always nurtures their prospects and have conversations with them to identify their problems and hardships. Now, it might not always be so that your service may provide them a solution.
In that case, always remember to provide an alternative to it or introduce them to someone from your network. At first, you may not like doing that but it’ll build a bond that will bring sales in the long run.
- Communicate and provide value regularly.
This doesn’t mean sounding salesy or initiating an unwanted or forceful conversation. It means creating and sharing content and opinions which initiate discussions. Frequent communication within your community showcases yourself and your business as a market leader and creates an impression of you being a trusted authority.
- Keep in touch with your existing customers.
While social media is an excellent opportunity to find new customers and build relationships with them, you should not forget your existing customers. Making an effort to connect with them by going through their bios and finding a common ground can make your customer feel special and can increase your chances of bringing business from them.
Social media is a very powerful tool in today’s times and the companies using it are already a step ahead of their competitors. Social selling is here to stay and these tips can help you establish your business and increase customer loyalty.
As Katherine Barchetti quotes, “Make a customer, not a sale.”