What Matters Most in Sales: Adding Value
Your social selling output is reflective of how much effort you put in
September 21, 2016
There’s a lot of advice out there about how to excel at social selling, but at the end of the day, what matters most? This is a question that will be foremost on our minds for our next few posts in the Ask the Expert Series.
For this week’s post, we asked social selling consultant Robert Knop, founder and CEO of Assist You Today, what matters most about social selling. His answer? Value.
But first, look at the landscape:
Given the digital landscape we now inhabit, the potential of social selling is undeniable. Based on research compiled from Digital Trends, Knop said: “the average US adult checks social media 17 times a day. People are only awake 16 hours a day. So that means, at least once an hour, people are on social media.”
With the whole world constantly online, then, traditional sales methods are less effective. Due to the massive influx of emails prospective clients receive on a daily basis, traditional email clickthrough rates, according to research from Silverpop, hover around a mere 4%. According to Knop, this is why social selling is especially important. When you reach out with a warm introduction via LinkedIn, social selling response rates tend to rise up to 50% or higher.“
So, how do you add value in the social selling space? Knop talks about a two-pronged approach: adding value by boosting your own credibility as a sales rep, and adding value to the prospective client and whatever their pain point is.
Adding Value as a Sales Rep:
Social selling allows you to get in front of the right people, faster. In order to build value, you have to build a connection. “It’s like the ‘Circle of Trust’ from “Meet the Parents,” said Knop. “When someone trusts you, you’re no longer a sales rep to him or her, you’re a buddy. And when they need help, are they going to want to call up a sales rep or a buddy?” A buddy, most likely, as people prefer to consult with people they already have a rapport with. And to do that, you need to help your prospective clients. For example, you could give your prospects tips on how to use social media effectively, or help find them leads to build their business. The more you give, the more you receive.
“Social selling doesn’t reinvent the wheel,” Knop says. “It just moves the racetrack.” Social selling uses the same great sales techniques that have made sales reps great for years, but now those techniques are done via social media channels.
Adding Value to the Client:
With social selling, end-clients are having targeted, personalized interactions with sales reps, who are actively trying to help clients build their businesses. The content and conversations sales reps share with clients are useful and relevant to those clients from the first conversation to the last. “I can’t think of a more win-win situation for an end-client and sales rep relationship,” says Knop.
Knop provides the best social selling practices you can implement to gain momentum:
· Connect with your current clients on LinkedIn to expand your reach, and retain and grow your current client base
· Create a LinkedIn profile that’s going to be found: this includes a summary of how your professional goals align with a client’s vision as well as the value that you can provide, SEO keywords that will increase traction, and post content that aligns with this messaging and distinguishes you as a thought leader
· Find prospects you want to target through social media who will be receptive to your messaging.
· Personalize connections on LinkedIn. If you want to connect someone you may not directly know, find three things about the person you have in common: alumni of the same college, supporting the same charities, and shared connections you have in common are all optimal topics to bring up
Ultimately, making the effort to maximize your LinkedIn profile and utilize these tips will pay off in achieving social selling success.
To gain more insights about how to stay at the top of the social selling game, download our free eBook The Sales Rep’s Checklist.