Key terms: social media, consistency, engagement, results

Guest author: Josh Schmalenbach

Sales Trend 9 from our 12 Sales Trends Report for 2018 is about social selling.

As technology and the internet have evolved, our access to information has also vastly grown. Never before has it been so easy to find out so much about a product or a person.

With a simple Google search, one can find pages of information regarding someone’s career, achievements, education, and even what they have shared online.

This ease of access to data has made the buying process significantly easier and less risky for everyone involved. The buyer no longer needs a salesperson to provide them with material; the salesperson’s role now is to help the customer decipher the mountains of information available to them.

In B2B environments, consumers are looking as closely at the salesperson as they are at what they are buying.

Whenever you encounter someone professionally, it is very likely that they will search for you on LinkedIn. This can provide a great deal of important professional information about you, and a general overview of who you are. But most importantly, when people search for you online, they want to confirm what you have said.

No matter how smoothly your prospecting call went, or how eloquently your email was written, it was still only your word. They have no reason to trust you are honest or sincere after one interaction.

Therefore, being active and looking proficient on LinkedIn and other platforms, such as Twitter, is imperative if you want to stay ahead of the professional curve.

Engagement is very important.

Looking professional on LinkedIn is not as simple as spending twenty minutes making your profile look appealing.

Your activity is how you create an image of yourself. This doesn’t necessarily mean to post all day, every day; sharing quality posts or articles every week can provide a great advantage.

A good way to be active in social media is by sharing your company’s posts or messages. This not only validates your role within the organisation but is also beneficial for the company – posts shared on employees’ profiles gain more traction and reach than the same content shared on the company’s page[i].

Humans have trouble trusting faceless business pages, this is why it is essential for CEOs and Senior Executives to be active on social media. They bring a human side to their company, thus making it easier for consumers to trust and relate to the brand.

Statistics [i] have shown that only a third of people trust brand messages from business pages. On the other hand, well over two thirds of people trust the same messages from people they know, not just personally but through their social media presence as well. Smart sales and business people know that good personal branding is key in helping them build strong business relationships. With social media profiles becoming increasingly important, this sales trend sees successful personal branding making use of a few key points:

Who are you?

Good social media profiles answer this question quickly and clearly.

People come to your profile to discover who you are or to compare it with what you have said in a prospecting call or email.

What tangible outcomes can you provide?

All too often, people and businesses miss opportunities because a prospect is unable to properly determine what a business can do for them. Use your profile to provide a concise overview of your business and examples of how your products and/ or services have benefited clients in the past. This is also a good way to complement your prospecting calls and emails which might not present all the information that may be useful to your prospects.

Search Engine Optimisation

Successful social media profiles show up first on Google and are listed first when searched for within LinkedIn. Easy to find profiles have key words or phrases added to the name.

Important point: The primary resource used in search engines is your title, so pay attention to how you describe your role.

Consistency across the organisation

Professional social media profiles that work well are attuned with the employer-company’s profile and better or on-par with those of other employees in the same organisation. 

Personal branding has become a major differentiator when it comes to creating a deeper level of trust for your company. Use it wisely and ethically.

Remember everybody lives by selling something.

Please feel free to share this article with business owners, leaders, and salespeople looking to build customer loyalty, grow sales, deliver great customer service and sell better. It could be your team and colleagues, business partners, friends, clients, suppliers or people you know in your community or business networks.

[i] http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/press-room/2012/nielsen-global-consumers-trust-in-earned-advertising-grows.html

 

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