Social Selling Tips: How to Sell When Your Prospects Aren’t Social

Learn how to engage prospects who aren’t active on social media with these social selling tips from Heinz Marketing, Inc. President Matt Heinz.

July 14, 2015

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Editor’s Note: In this series, we feature quick and tactical social selling tips from thought leaders in the profession. Our first contributor is Heinz Marketing, Inc. President Matt Heinz.

One of the first steps to social selling is finding and connecting with the right people. Once you make the connection, you can engage sales prospects with insights, build a relationship, and work toward making the sale. It’s a process that works most of the time, but sometimes the right people to connect with aren’t active on social media. How can you practice social selling without the social?

The strategies you currently use for social selling still apply when you’re dealing with less-social prospects.  You can use social media to do research and stay relevant, just in a less direct way. Here are ways to engage when it’s difficult to contact a prospect on social media.

Listen to Others in the Organization

You may need to use more old-school channels to get in touch with the primary decision maker, but you can still listen for buying signals from others in the organization. LinkedIn Advanced Search can help you find people in the same department or with similar job duties, so you don’t miss hearing about pain points the organization is dealing with.

Focus on potential stakeholders you can reach out to, including the prospect’s peers in other departments. You may find some of these stakeholders are more active on social. You can look for another way to connect with your non-social prospect while developing multiple points of contact for the account.

An organization’s C-level executives and other stakeholders may make the final decision, but that doesn’t mean they are the best way to get the ball rolling. Your primary decision maker is likely to delegate most of the research and review process to their subordinates. Since these direct reports will be making recommendations, they’re a good place to start when it comes to establishing your relevance.

Follow Company Pages

It almost goes without saying that if you’re trying to sell to a company, you should be following their LinkedIn Company Page. Keep an eye on the company feed to see what they’re saying in updates, shares, and press releases. You may find trigger events and pain points that help you put together a killer value proposition you can present offline.

The same goes for the company’s direct competitors. Follow their Company Pages and monitor their updates for insights you can use with your target company. Services like Rival IQ will keep you posted on the competitor’s online activities. For example, you may become aware of changes to a competitor’s SEO strategy, or learn about specific content asset that is achieving high visibility within the industry. You can share any relevant information you glean with your prospect to add value and build trust.

Watch for Activity

Just because someone isn’t active on social today doesn’t mean they will never have an online presence. Make sure you won’t miss signs of life by following the prospect on LinkedIn. You can also set a Google Alert for their name, and follow them on Newsle so you won’t miss a mention of them in the press.

When you encounter a prospect who isn’t active on social media, don’t give up your social selling mindset. Your goal is still to build a relationship by providing timely, valuable insights. LinkedIn can help you find connections and collect intelligence, helping to ensure your communication is always relevant and helpful.

For more advice and insight from some of social selling’s brightest minds, download 33 Social Selling Tips by Social Selling Thought Leaders.

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