Social selling – Part 2. 7 STEPS TO GET STARTED

By Malin Avalon Engquist, April 2013

Do you want to boost your sales? Give it a thought if social selling could be an interesting option for you.

Social selling is fun and makes your job easier. Building a social media profile and starting to interact doesn’t happen overnight. The good news is that you can take the first step today and become successful tomorrow. Are you already part of the winning (sales) team?

Here my 7 steps to get started:

1. Build your digital profile

Build a social media profile corresponding to your personal brand. Communicate in social communities which are relevant for you. Establish links with other experts, and offer information and references. Build your reputation by drawing attention to your web presence, motivating others to circulate and act on your ideas.

Why? Sales is about trust. The more you give, the more you get back. Let your “social media alter ego” show that you understand the market, trends, clients and prospects. You cannot be out on the market 24/7, but your social profile is always online. Our world is becoming global. Be a part of it!

2. Choose the right channels

Select the channels you want to join. Focus on one or two platforms where you are most likely to engage prospects. If you are in B2B, LinkedIn is probably a smart platform for you. You can be more “personal” on one network (e.g. Facebook) and more “formal” on another (e.g. LinkedIn). Always show respect in your comments!

3. Expand your network

Compared with the old way of collecting business cards, it’s easier to expand your online network. Six degrees of separation is the theory that everyone is six or fewer steps away from any other person in the world, so that a chain statement like “a friend of a friend” can be made to connect two people in a maximum of six steps. Reach out to peers, friends, customers, co-workers, etc. Share your friends’ posts on Twitter and start conversations with your real life connections. Another example is asking for recommendations on LinkedIn.

4. Connect with influencers

Try to find people who drive conversations around topics which matter to you and your customers. First identify them. Do some research on topics, organisations or other media you know. Follow them on Twitter and LinkedIn. This way, you connect with influencers and increase your knowledge. Position yourself as a bridge between unconnected groups so that you have the chance to identify potential collaborations and accumulate information.

5. Share/create content

Start by sharing and commenting on the blogs and articles of others. If you like to write, you can publish your own (small) blog (free of charge via WordPress), which you share and link, for example to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. The challenge is to get appropriate content to your customer on a personal basis. If you start to be transparent to your social media world, you will become a trustworthy adviser.

6. Be aware of the next trend

What is happening on the other side of the globe is also important for us. Listening is a future weapon when it comes to being successful. Choose the channels and media where you get relevant information. Following relevant people on Twitter is one option. If you want to organise your social profiles and followers, you can download Hootsuite or TweetDeck for free. Hash tags are like keywords (people use the hash tag symbol # in front of a relevant keyword or phrase in their tweet to categorise those tweets and make them more visible in Twitter Search).

7. Develop a corporate sales & intelligence process

Social (media) selling should be part of your corporate sales process. “Time for calls” is scheduled in every sales professional’s diary. According to CSO Insight, the effective use of sales intelligence increases revenue productivity per sales representative by 17%. So if you include social (media) selling as part of your sales process, it should also include monitoring tools. What’s more, apps such as TweetDeck and Hootsuite are free!

Don’t forget that social selling starts and ends with “listening”. It’s not about showing off; it’s about understanding what your customer needs.

Please join or follow me on my social media ;=)

Twitter: @malinavalon

© Krauthammer International, April 2013.


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