Social Selling Tips: #1 Selling to customers who aren't ready to buy

Social Selling Tip #1: Selling to customers who aren’t ready to buy (yet)

  • By Jeff Molander

Time to listen: 2 minutes. This is the first in a series of social selling tips. #1: How to start selling to customers who aren’t ready to buy using social media. Here’s where to start and step-by-step tips to get you going.

First, you CAN sell products and services of all kinds—to people of all kinds—on social media. Yet I hear it all the time from (mostly self-appointed) business gurus:

“People aren’t on social media to be sold to.”

Bologna. Hooey. Horsehockey.

Saying this is to miss the social selling opportunity entirely: Every day your customers use blogs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn etc. to solve problems. They’re often letting social media move them toward products and services they need.

They may not be ready to buy right this instant. But many WILL eventually. You want to capture the attention and earn the chance to nurture those prospects.

It starts with realizing this simple idea: Right now, most prospects are looking for shortcuts to getting things done… solutions to nagging problems… ways to learn new skills.

For example, your customers may be on social media showing interest in avoiding risks they don’t need to take or finding better ways to compete. Maybe they’re seeking guidance on some kind of personal challenge

Our job as social sellers is to guide customers toward those short cuts or better ways or useful tips… AND occasionally find ways to connect what we sell to those better ways.

That’s one of the best social selling tips I can give you.

For example, your job is to help potential customers get a hold of a checklist that they can use to get something done faster. Or maybe give them a 3 part video tutorial on learning a new skill they need to have. Or maybe it’s a short ebook they need. Whatever it is the idea is to let them begin to experience the kind of success that your service can more fully provide.


About Jeff Molander

Jeff Molander is the authority on starting conversations with busy people. As founder of Communications Edge Inc. he teaches a proven, effective communications technique to spark buyers curiosity in sales outreach & marketing messages. He's a sought-after sales communications 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 served 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.

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  • Jeff says:

    Jeff, I totally agree with what you said that currently people will want to find some shortcuts through all kinds of social media to seek some guidance or help. So they will speak out what kinds of problems they currently faced.

    And that, I think, will be a really good point for me, as a salesperson, to offer some useful solutions to guide them how to solve the problems and win their trust.

    But, what it they didn’t show or post any problems they currently faced or to put it this way, they don’t think they even have that kind of problems, do you think it’s still ok for salesperson to sell all kinds of product or service for them without annoying them?

    Indeed, for people who don’t know they may have such kind of problems in the future, I can use some techniques, say, used of “what if” sentence to let them think and finally ask for guidance from me. But as per my experience, not all of the people can buy into that kind of tricks.

    So I want to know your opinions about how to solve that problems once you faced that conundrums?



    • Hi, Jeff. Sorry… I missed your comment here (took some time to reply to it).

      If I understand you correctly, Jeff, you’re asking (in essence) “what if they don’t realize they have problems?” or “what if my customers don’t have problems?” Here’s what I’ve seen work REALLY effectively: Showing customers that they are, right now, taking (or exposing themselves to) risks they don’t even know about—that you can help them avoid. I am planning on profiling how a financial services company is doing this soon. Does that make sense? In business-to-business your question (challenge) is common: What if customers aren’t seeking out answers to problems? Or what if they’re not looking for guidance on reaching goals?

      Exactly… “what if” type of content will work in this situation. You are right in thinking this way. It’s not a “trick” so much as it is “the sex and violence” of business. By exposing a customer to a disaster that could have been averted—IF the customer had realized X, Y or Z in advance—you have a chance to plant the seed in their mind (and let it fester… let it create an irritation… or even a fear).

      Again, I hope to blog on this soon. The company is JLL (Jones Lang LaSalle).

      In fact, I mentioned them a bit here

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