Social Selling – 5 Tips for Business

Tim Hughes and Matt Reynolds wrote “Social Selling: Techniques to Influence Buyers and Changemakers in 2016*.

In this book there are five tips to think about to develop a social selling strategy in our businesses.

Participation in a digital community is essential however as business owners with very different customer markets and very little time, so how can we go about implementing the most relevant and pragmatic social approach for our businesses.

Here are some key points from this book:

1. Social selling has not come about because social media created a different way to sell. Social selling is the response to how social media has created a different way to buy

2. Second, Hughes and Reynolds distinction between Changemakers V Decision Makers.

Decision makers are those who are typically the people we target in a sales process, but a 55 year old male business owner, as an example, is not necessarily that socially savvy.

They look to younger, more junior digital community members for what they learn from their communities to push information and potential ideas and solutions up and across their companies.

In thinking best approaches to social, we need to think about how to engage the Changemakers.

So here are five things to consider in Social:

1. Our Brand – we need to decide, develop and demonstrate key elements of our brand to the Changemakers

2. We need to structure a channel strategy:

• Which networks and why (Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube etc.)

• What content to position our brand and build our community

• When, why and how we consistently engage

• How we follow up

3. How we implement a social strategy

• Getting started in each channel

• Developing your Buyer Persona (who are your customers, what is their DNA or how do they want to engage)

• What not to do is also important

4. How we build the conversation

• Getting the basics right (e.g. high quality Linkedin page)

• Ways to communicate. Here are six options

• Sharing ideas

• Sharing research

• Talking/not selling

• Telling stories

• Asking questions (people love to respond)

• Providing “Free Stuff”

• We also need to think about how we listen based on our buyers persona – what will they communicate that helps us understand their needs

5. How to measure success

• Revenue and sales are lagging indicators

• Think about leading indicators to improve our social selling, e.g.

• # Posts, Followers, Retweets, Shares or Mentions

• # Friends, Likes, Shares or Conversations

• # Leads, Pipeline Developed, Deal sizes, Sales Cycles etc.

 

One last point on the concept of Digital Maturity – it is so easy to get carried away and spend a lot of time on social selling.

Find the optimum investment that is right for your business – find your own Changemakers to help.

Take a 12 month view, allocate some time per week to work on your social strategy and generate more business from building your own digital community

 

Phil Hunt MBA
Hunt Consultants Pty Ltd
Building Competitive Advantage

*Social Selling. Techniques to Influence Buyers and Changemakers. Time Hughes and Matt Reynolds. Kogan Page Limited, 2016