In this era of social media, social selling is the evolution of sales. Buyers are always connected and constantly on social media, learning more about your company and competitors. Social media has changed the buying process and as a result, the selling process. Social selling doesn’t replace the sales fundamentals, but instead evolves them.

89% of purchases (75% for B2B) start with an online search. Today, social media provides sales professionals with the opportunity to engage with future customers directly without even picking up the phone. No more buying lists. No more cold calls. No more gatekeepers. In fact, 64% of sales teams who use social selling reach sales quotas (and 15% more contract renewals) versus 49% who do not adopt it.

So what exactly is social selling? It’s the practice of incorporating social networks in your sales process, from prospecting to positioning to presenting. By incorporating 10 important steps from these 3 ways to win in social selling, you can experience the benefits and outperform others:

Prospect

1. Find Your Target Audience

Know where your target customers are congregating on social media. Success in social selling requires consistent reaching out to large numbers of your target customer. You need to use social media to ask qualifying questions and keep refining your prospect list to help you avoid wasting time calling on people who are unlikely to do business with you.

2. Have Conversations with Prospects

Join discussions where prospects share their goals and challenges. Before promoting products that you love, find out what your customers love.

3. Generate Sales Leads

Capture email addresses from prospects and fill your sales funnel. Link back to your opt-in page by offering and delivering something of value in exchange for their contact details.

4. Get Past Gatekeepers

Qualify prospects and reach decision makers. Use search tools to identify stakeholders and confirm need, budget and decision-making authority.

Position

5. Demonstrate Your Expertise

Position yourself as an authority and thought leader. Being an expert in your field will make you a more valuable resource. This will simplify and shorten the buying process.

6. Differentiate From Competitors

In a world where buyers are inundated with choices, how can you stand out from other solution providers? You need to stand apart from competitors by communicating what is important to your prospects with your unique message. Share the essential elements of what your business is about.

7. Assess ProspectsNeeds

Ask the right questions to uncover problems and identify the needs of your prospects. This will better position you as the ideal solution provider.

Present

8. Deliver Sales Presentations

Share solutions through online presentations. Plan your benefits, your answers to objections and your materials in advance.

9. Ask for the Sale

Convert conversations to closed deals. Closing is easy if everything is handled properly throughout your presentation. Focus on prospects’ dominant buying motives. Make it easy for them to buy from you.

10. Get Spin-off Business

Use introductions and recommendations to get more business. Demonstrate how you can support your customers in solving their problems. Establish a partnering relationship.

To summarise, effective closing methods do not pressure the prospect. Rather, your closing methods need to focus on prospects’ dominant buying motives. Especially with increased competition in today’s marketplace, you need to adopt a relationship strategy that emphasises the lifetime customer. If you’re thinking that you can hit the jackpot with the occasional promoted post, you need to think again.  Your audience needs to see you as consistent and credible before trusting your message. And bear in mind that you will need to reach lots of your ideal target customer in order to achieve your income goals and make the best use of your time. 

Join Tom Abbotts bootcamp SME 101 : Social Selling on 19th and 20th August 2015 to gain more insights into social selling and find out why theres never been a better time to be in sales in this todays world of social media. Sign up now to enjoy early bird prices at www.stjobs.sg/bootcamp.