Social selling allows salespeople to laser-target their prospects, establish rapport, and possibly ditch cold calling. It’s the art of using social media to find, connect, understand, and nurture sales prospects. It’s basically a modern way to develop meaningful relationships with prospects. This helps your company be the first they think of when they’re ready to buy. Below, we will dive even further into social selling and what you need to know about it. 

If you have a Facebook Business Page or LinkedIn profile, you’ve already engaged in the basics of social selling. This is even if you’ve never actually used the term to describe your online activities. It’s not about bombarding strangers with unsolicited private messages, and that’s exactly what you should avoid doing.

Social selling is not just about gaining access to contacts. It’s about building relationships and listening for the right moment to join a conversation and present yourself as the solution to a problem. If your sales team has not embraced social selling, your sales aren’t as good as they could be.

Best practices

Now that you know what social selling is and why you should care about it, here are the best practices.

Show up

Robots are not very social. You may be tempted to save time with automated liking and commenting tools, but these don’t help build rapport. They cause more damage than good. While there are ways to incorporate social bots into your marketing and customer service, they should be avoided when it comes to selling. 

You need to show up, engage, be present, and be yourself. It’s important to remember that the point of social selling is to build relationships. You want to make yourself seem more human and approachable. 

Of course, show up means that you need to make sure that your profile shows up when customers and prospects are looking for expertise in your industry. This will help them start to recognize you as a leader and valuable contact in your field. You can optimize your social media profiles across networks to maximize the impact of your social selling strategy. You need to look at your profiles from a prospect or customer’s point on view. You need to make sure you’re presented as a credible professional. 

Listen strategically to identify leads

Your customers and prospects share incredibly valuable information on their social media platforms. They can basically tell you exactly what they want and need. All you have to do is pay attention. You can use social lists to monitor what people are saying about you, your company, your industry, and competitors. Keep an eye out for pain points and requests for recommendations. 

Build meaningful relationships

You need to stay in touch with your new social media contacts over time. You should pay attention to the content they post and jump in from time to time with a like or comment. This will help let them know that you’ve read and appreciated what they have to say. 

If a contact moves to a new company or position, send them a quick note of congratulations. If you notice them asking for help or advice, jump in with a meaningful answer. You can do this even if it doesn’t directly promote your product. Focus on how you can help your contacts and make their lives easier. If you can establish yourself as their go-to person in your industry, guess who will be their first call when they’re ready to make a purchase?