Social Selling Tips of the Week: Have Great Sales Conversations (Everywhere)

Learn how to spark constructive conversations with your prospects with these social selling tips.

August 5, 2016

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Have you ever made a sale without having a conversation? Even if a prospect comes to you ready to buy, there’s going to be some conversation. And believe it or not, it’s possible to mess things up even at that stage of the sale. But remember: in 2016, conversation doesn’t always mean two people speaking to each other face-to-face. In fact, as a sales professional, I’d wager most of your conversations happen online or over the phone.

We’re illustrating this point by showing you how great advice for in-person sales conversations and email are applicable to selling on social media. Just because social selling is a relatively new strategy, doesn’t mean you should throw up time-tested ways to have better conversations with your prospects in other contexts.

11 Ways to Start a Conversation With a Potential Customer That Work 100% of the Time

Claiming that something works 100% of the time is bold, but once you’ve read these ideas from Minda Zetlin, you might think twice about questioning her. And guess what? All eleven of them can be used by social sellers.

Take number 4, “Ask about their work.” You may have heard us mention how important it is that you pay attention to the prospect’s personal career trajectory at their current company and beyond. Showing an interest in the individual, whether in-person or online, is a powerful way to get someone to listen once it’s your turn to speak (or write).

How to Make Your Emails Sound More Human

Interestingly enough, one of the first pieces of advice from Glenn Leibowitz on how to write better (read: more conversational) emails is to “try to imagine the recipient is looking at you as you write, or reading what you're writing, as you're writing it." Reaching out online, in this case via email, doesn’t give us the power to use conversational nuances like tone or facial expressions to convey our message.

The same problem exists when reaching out on social media, where Leibowitz’s advice about listening to the sound of your “voice” when you write can come in handy. There are strategies specific to online communication, but paying attention to the one’s you’d try to use in person will get you far.

5 Universal Rapport-Building Topics to Use With Prospects Who Hate Small Talk

Some people are friendly and content to let you get away with starting a conversation on relatively feeble ground—in other words, with small talk. Others, however, whether for lack of time or interest, will demand something more. Dan Tyre has strategies for those types of people, and we recommend applying them in conversations across your sales channels.

So what do you say to these people? Once again, you’ll see the advice with the research about what all social sellers should be doing before starting a conversation. Tyre suggests talking about their academic or business accomplishments, a recent publication or post they shared, their longevity or experience at their current company, and their goals for the future.

These experts and many others can shed light on what makes a great conversation – even before the sales process has begun. As you read their advice, remember how much of it can be translated to your social selling strategy.

And the best part is, when you’re having these conversations via social, you have access to information about your prospects at your fingertips. Of course, sometimes, it’s the right moment to take the conversation offline, but don’t underestimate how far you can get with social selling.

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