What is social selling?

By Jeff Molander

what is social selling

Time to read: 3 minutes. The truth is getting out: Buyers are NOT re-inventing the buying process as social selling gurus claim. However, customers are speeding-up the buying process—going “non-linear.” Sales is changing. But this is not a revolution. In reality, generating leads and sales using LinkedIn, Google+, blogging and YouTube is more about a return to selling basics. Ok, so what is social selling and how can you get started?

Effective social selling has less to do with technology—more to do with applying direct response marketing principles with new tools.

Social selling: An evolution, not revolution

Revolutions bring about change that make things easier or better. Has social media made your life easier lately? Are you getting more leads and closing them faster?

I rest my case!

Social selling is an improvement on your existing selling process. It’s your chance to evolve, not re-invent. Don’t be tricked into believing the hype.

Maybe you’re all about Sandler. Or perhaps Challenger selling. It doesn’t matter.

Social selling takes what already works, brings it online and improves it using direct response marketing principles. 

Ok. Let’s roll up our sleeves. What is social selling and how are sales reps, small business owners and distributors generating more leads, faster? What is the process your sales team should be applying?

Effective social selling is a system

Systems are not sexy. But they work.

A system is a repeatable process with a predictable outcome. Input goes in, certain things happen and out pops a result. What’s popping out of your social media efforts lately? If it feels like a time-suck, don’t worry. You’re not alone.

You are part of the 95% of sellers that aren’t using a system.

If you would like to learn the system in 12 minutes, here’s a free LinkedIn sales training video to get you started.

Social prospecting: New but not complex

The prospecting piece of social selling is mostly about:

  • Getting buyers to respond and qualify faster, more often, and
  • Turning response into dialogue that leads to a sale—faster, more easily

If anything is new about this process it’s the role direct response marketing techniques play. For example, social media copywriting is catching on.

Today’s best social sellers use a process. They structure words to generates leads faster.

The systematic approach they use help customers:

  • believe there is a better way (via short-form social content)
  • realize they just found part of it (using longer-form content) and
  • act—taking a first step toward what they want (giving the seller a lead)

Engagement and trust are not the goals

Pretend the Internet didn’t exist for a moment. Will you agree with me that engagement is not your sellers’ goal? Engagement is the beginning of a process. It’s a chance for front line reps and dealers to open the door to deeper conversation about a transaction.

If not, engagement is a chronic waste of your reps’ and dealers’ time! You see, business gurus are wrong. Engagement isn’t the goal. Response is!

Likewise, “the experts” insist: Being trusted is a winning strategy. But it’s not.

Being trusted is the output of successful strategy! Increased trust is a sign your sellers are applying a social selling process effectively.

So let’s keep your social prospecting approach practical: Attention, engagement and a simple, repeatable way to create response more often. These are the components of an effective social selling system.

Why you might not need a social selling strategy

Today, tele-prospecting success has little to do with phone technology. It has everything to do with your telephone speaking technique—your conversational system. Will you agree?

Just the same, you don’t need a social selling strategy today.

What do you DO need is a practical, repeatable process to increase sellers’ effectiveness (productivity) and make their output more predictable … using social media platforms.

So don’t let gurus trick you into feeling like a laggard. Don’t let me catch you throwing money at sales trainers claiming buyers are fundamentally revolutionizing the way they buy.

Don’t spend time, energy or money on a social selling revolution manufactured by gurus who need to ride the latest technology wave!

Start right here (a free video training)

Focus on ways to:

  • Get buyers to respond and qualify faster, more often, and
  • Turn response into dialogue that leads to a sale—faster

If you would like to learn the system in 12 minutes, here’s a free LinkedIn sales training video to get you started.

Good luck. Let me know how I can help!

Photo credit: Gill Poole

 

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About the Author

Jeff Molander is the authority on starting sales conversations online. He teaches a proven, effective and repeatable communications process to spark buyers curiosity about what you're selling. He's a sought-after sales prospecting trainer to individual reps, teams of sellers and small businesses owners across the globe. He's an accomplished entrepreneur, having co-founded the Google Affiliate Network and what is today the Performics division of Publicis Groupe. Jeff also serves as adjunct digital marketing faculty at Loyola University’s school of business. His book, Off The Hook Marketing: How to Make Social Media Sell for You, is first to offer businesses a clear, practical way to create leads and sales with technology platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and blogs.