Social Selling Tips of the Week: Stay Classy
There is no shortage of negative sales stereotypes in popular culture. We’ve all seen the cheesy used car salesman with his, “What’s it gonna take to get you into this car today?” We’ve also seen plenty of examples of the fast-talking, secretly desperate guy who will say anything to make a deal. As much as we know sellers don’t need to be aggressive or dishonest, we can’t deny that, historically, the sales profession hasn’t had a sterling reputation.
Thank goodness for the social selling revolution. When it’s done right, there’s nothing self-serving, dishonest, or intrusive about social selling. It elevates the profession, making you a valuable, trusted advisor who forms lasting relationships with grateful clients. So we can get past the image of the door-to-door salesman with his plaid suit and flop sweat; with social selling, sales can be downright classy.
The articles in this week’s roundup of social selling tips
feature solid advice to help you stay classy in your sales efforts.
Using Your Social Sense: A Guide to Social Selling Etiquette
It’s easy to dive in and start using social media for sales, which is great. But a low barrier to entry also means inexperienced salespeople can easily jump into (or control) the conversation in inappropriate ways. Because poor social selling etiquette can keep you from making connections and building relationships, it’s important to be aware of the unwritten rules of social media.
The team at Sales Prodigy has you covered with this quick reference guide
for social media etiquette. Check out the full article for advice on establishing relationships, guidelines for posting appropriate material, and tips on how to recognize and honor online boundaries. The team’s advice on the specifics is great, but they also remind us that “The basic guidelines are common sense. You already do this with your customers over the phone or face-to-face. The rules are the same, the people are all the same, it’s just a different territory.”
Jon Ferrara: How to Build Presence for Truly Social Selling
Getting the etiquette right is a good first step to staying classy. The next step is to develop a social selling strategy. According to Nimble CEO Jon Ferrara, “Social selling techniques allow business professionals to engage with customers and prospects with relevance and purpose. It’s not so much the what as the how and why.” A good social selling strategy helps you establish yourself as a valued resource to build relationships with your prospects.
In his post on the Software Advice blog, Ferrara spells out his “five Es” of social selling. These five broad categories—Educate, Enchant, Engage, Embrace, and Empower—cover the essential social selling activities that can lead to lasting customer relationships. As Ferrara says, “Social selling is a two-way street, a relationship, a conversation.”
Always Be Closing is Dead: How to Always Be Helping in 2015
Ditching the hard-driving, “Always Be Closing” mentality is vital to staying classy as a modern sales professional. “High-pressure selling has stopped working because it treats customers as interchangeable piles of money,” says HubSpot Director Dan Tyre. Instead, Tyre recommends that, “As your prospect moves through the funnel, provide resources and guidance as they attempt to solve a complicated business problem.”
Tyre proposes a list of three things that salespeople can do to follow the Always Be Helping
mantra. By following Tyre’s advice, you can ensure that the prospect is a good fit, find out where they are in the buying process, and customize your approach to provide value throughout your interactions.
Today’s self-directed, socially savvy buyers won’t put up with stereotypical sales approaches. The salespeople who thrive in the social era are the ones with superb social selling etiquette, a solid strategy for adding value, and the empathy to always be helping. So stay classy, fellow sales professionals, and enjoy your newfound identity. You’ve earned it.
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