We hope you've been enjoying our month of social selling. If you've missed some of it, you can click here to learn more about social selling.
This week, we're happy to share a new addition to our expert interview series. We heard your voice, and Bruce Johnston answers some of the most commonly asked social selling questions.
What is social selling and how would you define it?
- Social selling is simply the use of any social media as sales tools. I find it a bit odd to call it "social selling" as we don't call it "Email Selling" for example. I dislike the term actually, as it implies using social media is all you do.
What would you say are some of the biggest benefits that can be derived from social selling?
- Social selling broadens your opportunities by allowing you to "go" where your prospects are. If your prospects spend a lot of time on Facebook, you should consider using Facebook as a sales tool.
What skills should a business possess to maximize the benefits with social selling?
- Being able to write. A lot of social selling depends on content - most of it written - and a lot of the initial approaches via social are done with the written word. Being able to express yourself in an elegant yet succinct manner helps
Clearly LinkedIn is a powerful channel for social selling. Are there any other channels you recommend?
- I use Twitter myself and find it fits well with LinkedIn, but the answer to this questions goes back to a previous answer: where are your customers? Use what they use and what they are most comfortable with.
What types of mistakes do you see most often and what could be done to remedy that?
- Biggest issue I see is activity that doesn't lead anywhere. People read they should share content so they run off and indiscriminately share content and nothing results. It's just as easy to waste your time on social as anywhere else. And it is very easy to lose your focus on social because of all the distractions.
What are a couple of tips you can share to help a business improve their social selling?
- Figure out what gaps or weaknesses in your current sales approach can be countered by using social media. If Email is working for you, it doesn't make much sense to replace it with social. But if a certain type of prospect isn't reachable via email, then maybe using social will work instead.
How do you see the activity of social selling evolving over the next 5 years?
- I think social selling will become tightly integrated into the whole sales process, and the tools available will be awesome. I can see sales tools like LinkedIn and Facebook being woven right into the fabric of CRM tools like Sales Force and Dynamics. For example, you add a name to the database and artificial intelligence starts analyzing the person and their company, comparing them to previous prospects and customers and suggesting content and sales approaches with the best probability of success. It's going to be an amazing time to be in sales.
How can someone who wants to learn more contact you?
- Contact me through LinkedIn - I'm there off and on all day every day - of via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more reading on how you can make an impact with your social media marketing, check out the links below: