Recently social media speaker, author and agency CEO Neal Schaffer I discussed some big mistakes sales professionals make on social media and how to avoid them. The first thing Neal brought up was:
Many sales people look at social media as “the” answer to closing more sales. They think sending a lot of sales messages translates into making a lot of money; which isn’t the case. Social media is only a valuable tool when it is used the right way with the right expectations.
SOCIAL MEDIA ISN’T THE ANSWER – PEOPLE ARE
Neal says that “Social media replaces nothing but compliments everything”. What does that mean? It means that social media does not become the magical tool that allows you to hit your quota. It’s not the sure-fire way to get deals that you haven’t been able to close before. However: It CAN help you build trusted relationships over time that lead to more sales.
At the end of the day business is all about PEOPLE. Social media and CRM systems help remind us what our connections are working on and when to reach out to them. We just need to remember that every touchpoint shouldn’t be about selling.
So how can we move important business relationships forward?
THREE WAYS TO BUILD VALUABLE SOCIAL MEDIA RELATIONSHIPS
Many people see that new Twitter follower or LinkedIn connection as just another contact to add to their mailing list – sometimes without permission. Viewing someone only as a potential customer causes a LOT of lost opportunities.
Connecting with someone on social media opens a treasure chest of business intelligence and personal information. Great sales people are always listening MUCH more than they’re talking; looking through social media is the online form of listening. Take the time to build rapport with people by interacting with them based on clues you see in their online activity.
Here are three ways to leverage relationships and build your business:
- BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: Learn about the other person FIRST and discover when, why and HOW to reach out to them based on what they’re talking about on social media and what they need help with.
- INTRODUCTIONS: Discover what connections you both have that might be helpful to the other person. Then, when trust is built, ask for and offer introductions.
- RESOURCES: Find out what influencers they follow and what groups they’re involved with that you can join. This helps you discover new resources and new people.
Who are you connected to on social media right now? Who do you WANT to be connected to tomorrow? Think about those people.
Now, instead of putting them on a “sales hit list” and bombarding them with pitches take another look at them on social media. Think about them in context of the three categories mentioned above.
Here’s an exercise to prepare for and connect with important connections today. Ask yourself:
- What TOPICS are they talking about that you can comment on and get to know them through?
- What GROUPS are they involved with that you might want to join and meet even MORE people?
- What CONNECTIONS do you both have that might foster introductions for both of you?
Go forth and connect; build the foundation to create meaningful social selling opportunities in the future!
In the second part this interview you’ll learn two ways to build rapport quickly after connecting on social media. Sign up for Nimble’s free newsletter and be the first to get the update!
HOW TO CONNECT WITH NEAL AND CREATE VALUE FOR BOTH OF YOU!
- Connect with Neal so you can easily reach out to each other when you have a need. Links to his social media profiles and his email are here.
- For companies that want to learn more about leveraging social media, especially if things aren’t going the way you hoped, reach out and ask for help.
- Want to share expert advice about social selling? Reach out about setting up an interview like this one!