Social Selling Tips of the Week: Communicating like a Winner

Discover the latest ideas for being an effective communicator and a more powerful sales professional.

June 3, 2016

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Communication skills are one sales tool that you can’t go without. While the way we communicate with prospects has changed throughout the digital age, many of the best foundational strategies have endured for decades.

Our top social selling tips this week concern communication, and how you can get your message across with more energy, efficiency, and success—on LinkedIn and beyond.

The Shrinking ROI of Cold Calling

While social selling is quickly overtaking it, cold calling is still a part of many sales teams’ tactics. However, this Pulse article by lead generation expert Toby Marshall offers up some compelling evidence of how it’s perceived by sales leaders, marketers, and (most importantly) your prospects.

One national sales trainer quoted in this article illustrates a social selling communication pillar we’ve long emphasized: that the prospect deserves and expects to be the focus of any sales pitch—along with their needs, concerns, and goals. With cold calling, that’s rarely the case. “Cold calling focuses on the product/service rather than what the person on the other side feels,” said the sales trainer. “There is a lack of empathy which can create the wrong perception of the brand and perhaps damages it in the long term.”

10 Communication Skills the Best Salespeople Share

It’s amazing how accurately this article on communication skills parallels so much of what we’ve been saying about an effective social selling strategy. Leslie Ye, a staff writer for HubSpot, summarized ten skills that are best demonstrated through a social selling lens.

Let’s emphasize a theme we saw in the first article that’s repeated again here: you should be actively listening to your prospects—whether you’re having a conversation in person, on the phone, or over a social platform. With social selling tools at your disposal, you can keep multiple prospects on your radar and conduct quick, meaningful research that will showcase how you understand their needs.

Another of Ye’s points is about using social selling as a means to demonstrate thought leadership. In her words, “Prospects will never trust you if it doesn’t seem like you really understand your (or their) business, so become an expert in your relevant field.” We couldn’t agree more.

5 Mistakes to Avoid on LinkedIn

If you’re already practicing good communication skills as a social seller, then you may be more interested in a refresher on what not to do with this particular channel. In a recent article for Inc., Jeremy Goldman had this to say about communicating on LinkedIn:

“If you have a connection in common you can also [ask] them to make an introduction, but make sure that you know the mutual acquaintance well enough that it doesn't feel like an imposition. Leave them an out by making it easy to decline just in case they don't feel comfortable introducing you.”

When it comes to communicating effectively as a sales professional, there’s a lot to learn from these articles. Cold calling is on the decline, researching and understanding your buyers is critical, and warm introductions are far superior to cold ones. What other sales communication tips do you have in your arsenal?

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