Inside the Buyer’s Mind - What You Need to Know to Stay Ahead
Find out how to get inside your buyer’s head by applying intelligent strategies to your social selling efforts.
July 7, 2016
When was the last time you went on a blind date without at least peeking at a social media profile first? If you managed to resist, it’s probably only because the online dating site that set you up already gave you enough info. The expectations of how we get to know each other have changed in the dating world—and in the sales world, too.
The problem is, sometimes we forget that research is a two-way street. If you’re checking out your date—guess what? They’re checking you out, too. The same goes for buyers and sellers.
You both have an obligation to do your due diligence to make things run as smoothly and successfully as possible. But while your company is putting out information on your product, services, and activities to educate potential buyers, your prospects may not be as forthcoming. And without any personalization, your attempt at reaching out isn’t likely to get a good response.
The good news? With social selling, there’s more information than ever on your prospects—you just have to know where to look and what to look for. The more you know them, the better your sales process will go. Here are a few steps to do just that.
You can learn a lot from listening. Once you identify your prospects, conduct a little research into their roles, past work histories, the content they’ve shared, and their connections. Do the same for their companies. This kind of research doesn’t stop after day one—you should continuously monitor their work activity to understand the needs and concerns you can address.
Your research will lead to more meaningful sales conversations and convey to the prospect that you genuinely care about his or her challenges. By paying close attention to one prospect, you may even be able to identify more valuable stakeholders when it’s time to have those conversations.
Respond & React
So, you think you have a good sense of who your prospect is and what they care about? The next step is to engage. Engagement comes in stages, the first of which also serves to bolster your status as a leader. The first kind of conversation involves making contributions by asking public questions, sharing useful content, and showing you’re paying attention.
Once you’re on their radar, it’s okay to take the conversation to a personal level by asking for an introduction from a shared connection or sending a personalized message. With a clear understanding of who you’re talking to, your outreach will be much more valuable and far more likely to get a response.
Sometimes the moment for one-on-one contact can come after working on lighter engagement, but if your research indicates you can intelligently address their concerns, then reach out!
To return to the romantic comparison, relationship building takes time. You’re more likely to appeal to someone if you take it slow, reach out at the right times, and show that their interests matter to you. The same goes for building relationships with your potential buyers.
But don’t rush in! Wait for a warm introduction or a perfect moment where you can provide real value. If you build a relationship based on careful listening and appropriate contributions, your conversations will be more meaningful and your sales process more successful.
Just remember that your prospects are, above all, people. Comment on a recent post by your prospect or share your own content that has real applications for the person in question. Your sincerity will not go unnoticed—but neither will a rushed, uninformed approach.
There are more tools for getting to know your prospect than ever before. If you’re paying attention, you’ll see that people share a great deal of information on social channels. By taking the time to research your prospects, engage with insights, and establish a personal relationship, you’ll see how powerful social selling can be.
Each piece of advice shared here corresponds with the established stages in a buyer’s journey, and by applying these strategies appropriately, you’ll find the journey is much more pleasant for you and your buyer.
You can read in-depth information on this topic in our new eBook, “How to Use Social Selling at Every Stage of the Buyer’s Journey.” Now get cracking!