The Little Red Post of Social Selling – Part One

Discover how social selling can help you capitalize on Jeffrey Gitomer’s 12.5 reasons why people buy.

April 2, 2014


Jeffrey Gitomer's Little Red Book of Selling has helped many of today's sales pros climb the ladder to selling success. If you've read it, you know the book features 12.5 principles of sales greatness. Published in 2004, when the Internet was still changing rapidly, the Little Red Book of Selling was ahead of its time.

In part one of this 2-part series, we will examine Gitomer's 12.5 reasons why customers buy. I think you'll find these reasons are as true today as the day they were written.  You'll also find applicable social selling best practices sprinkled throughout. So without further ado, here we go:

Reason #1: I like my sales rep

Gitomer proclaims “liking is the single most powerful element in a sales relationship” because like leads to trust, which leads to buying, which leads to a relationship. It’s the sales lifecycle.

An optimized LinkedIn profile can help you get off on the right foot with your prospects. By showing you’re a serious partner who cares about the success of your customers, you’re immediately more likeable in the eyes of buyers in your industry.

Reason #2: I understand what I am buying

In the social selling era, sales professionals demonstrate value by helping the prospect gain a deep understanding of how the proposed solution can solve problems and meet client-specific needs.

Reason #3: I perceive a difference in the person and the company I am buying from

Just like your company’s sales methodology features tactics for differentiating the offering from the competition’s, you must also find ways to set yourself apart from competing sales reps.

Reason #4: I perceive a value in the product that I am purchasing

Your ability to first understand a prospect’s needs and motivations goes a long way toward effectively demonstrating value. But before that, you need to get their attention with an effective value proposition.

Reason #5: I believe my sales rep

This one is simple. Always tell the truth… always.

Reason #6: I have confidence in my sales rep

The first part of earning confidence is to always do what you said you would do by the time you said you would do it. After that, there are many ways to establish the kind of credibility that increases confidence:

  • A customer-oriented LinkedIn profile with documented customer success stories can cement your reputation as a trusted advisor
  • Creating and/or curating relevant, insightful content shows you’re committed to staying on top of what’s happening in your industry
  • Communicating in a strategic, thoughtful manner shows you respect prospects’ time and do your homework

Reason #7: I trust my sales rep

See reason #5.

Reason #8: I am comfortable with my sales rep

There are two types of listening: Listening to understand and listening to respond. Listening to understand shows prospects you care about their interests. Dale Carnegie encouraged sales pros to become genuinely interested in other people, proclaiming “you can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

Reason #9: I feel that there is a fit of my needs and his/her product or service

Assuming your offering fits a prospect’s needs is a surefire way to pitch yourself out of a sale. Instead, seek to understand if your solution addresses the specific problems and objectives each individual prospect is concerned with.

Reason #10: The price seems fair, but it's not necessarily the lowest

In corporate sales, often it’s the lowest priced option with the biggest disadvantage. Value wins, not price.

Reason #11: I perceive that this product or service will increase my productivity

If you’re interested in products that increase sales productivity, check out LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

Reason #12: I perceive that this product or service will increase my profit

Have we told you about LinkedIn Sales Navigator?

Reason #12.5: I perceive that my salesperson is trying to help me build my business in order to earn his. My salesperson is a valuable resource to me

And that’s what social selling is all about – becoming a valued resource by helping customers realize success.

Does your social selling strategy account for all the reasons people buy? How can you adapt your social selling strategy to make it more “buyer friendly”?