What Your Car Mechanic Can Teach You about Social Selling
Learn the key social selling to become a trusted advisor in the eyes of prospects and customers.
October 11, 2014
Everyone needs a car mechanic they can trust. But because the good mechanics are usually booked solid, finding one isn't easy. So what do the best mechanics do different, and how can you use these same tactics to increase your own social selling results?
Here are a few top-notch social selling tips that sellers can emulate:
Keep a clean shop
Think of your LinkedIn profile as your customer waiting area. The mechanics who “get it” keep a clean, organized shop that helps put customers at ease. The certifications, memberships, awards and customer thank-you cards that line the walls establish trust and serve as proof to anyone who walks through the door that they are dealing with a credible professional.
Think about your LinkedIn profile from your prospects’ point of view. If you haven’t already, here are a few things you can do to create a social selling “lobby” that will put your potential customers at ease:
- Many people write their profile for recruiters. Social sellers should write their profile for prospects
- Don’t skimp on your summary and experience. Tell your story!
- Share often. People who share 2 – 5 times per day see increased profile views and engagement
- Make it a richer experience by adding rich media. Create a conversation by adding blog posts, SlideShare presentations and video
- Add your most relevant website links and use a strong call to action to lead visitors to the other web pages you want them to engage with
- Make sure to highlight your best recommendations. If you don’t have the quality recommendations you’re looking for yet, keep doing stellar work and keep asking
Good mechanics don’t sell. They educate
There’s a big difference between telling someone what they need vs. starting a conversation regarding the need in question. Customers are more apt to go along with a suggested change if it is explained in a way that offers proof. For mechanics, proof can come from charts, meter readings, or comparing a worn part with a new part. Similarly, social sellers should use tangible outcomes and measureable results whenever possible to get to the heart of the potential benefits and expected outcomes that decision makers care about.
Focus on the long-term
Has your mechanic ever shown you a part and said something like this:
“I don’t recommend replacing it yet, but I just want to make you aware that it’s starting to wear and it will probably need to be replaced at some point this year.”
The mechanic could just as easily have recommended the repair in an attempt to gain more revenue from your visit. However by explaining the future repair in this manner, the mechanic builds trust and is still likely to be the one to perform the repair at a future date.
We all want to close deals fast, but by clearly showing your prospects that you are placing their needs and goals above your own, you are far more likely to win the business, and in doing so, are creating a customer who will gladly recommend you to others.
Good mechanics provide value
Your mechanic is your go-to expert for all things auto, and good mechanics don’t take this role lightly. They make recommendations and provide advice as if your car is their own. They provide maintenance advice for between visits, tactics for increasing gas mileage, and maybe even add insight when you’re selling or buying. And by consistently providing value, the mechanic earns “trusted advisor” status in the eyes of each customer.
Social selling works the same way. Sure, the products and solutions we sell can provide value, but there are so many other things we can do to provide value for our customers and potential customers. An easy way to do this via LinkedIn is to find useful content, curate it and share it in a way that makes it easy for the person on the other end to consume and act on. If you’re not sure how you can provide added value, try making a list of anything and everything that will make your target audience’s work life easier. From this list, you should easily find a handful of ways you can separate yourself from the other sales reps.
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