Many sales people I meet are reluctant to engage in Social Selling simply because they feel like they’ve already tried it and it didn’t work.
However, in my experience, there are 3 really common mistakes sales people make when Social Selling, which hold them back from success:
- Moving too fast
Social Selling is not a quick-fix, short-term solution. Social Sellers must be patient, focusing not on the sale, but on providing relevant content and insight to their prospects and customers. Research by Demand Gen Report in 2016 revealed that 93% buyers want their content to “curb the sales messages”. In short, buyers don’t want to feel sold to when researching.
Many sales people try and rush to the pitch just because someone accepted a connection request or commented on a piece of content they shared. Social Selling doesn’t allow you to skip elements of the buying cycle, rather it helps you to identify where the buyer might be in that cycle, helps set up a warmer introduction and places you front of mind in consideration as a possible supplier.
‘Digital’ relationships must be nurtured and needs must be identified. As a general rule, if you wouldn’t say it face to face, don’t say it digitally. And certainly, do not make your first engagement a sales pitch.
- Not listening.
Remember when you were at school and the teacher told you to make sure you ‘answered the question, instead of just writing about the general topic’? Not listening is much the same: the sales person has their own agenda (to sell their product/service) and continues towards that goal, ignoring the cues their buyer may, or may not, be giving them. Be specific; answer your prospect’s questions, rather than just offering up information on a related subject and listenfor clues that point towards a genuine need. Listening in this sense means doing your research, not just viewing the interaction a prospect has with youand the contentyouhave shared, but looking at their wider activity.
- Only Social Marketing, and not Social Selling
The majority of people I’ve met who say they’ve tried Social Selling and that it didn’t work, are guilty of this final mistake. Simply creating and sharing content is not enough to make your prospects suddenly come flocking – this is essentially just marketing. To move from Social Marketing to Social Selling, you have to do something withit – engage, offer insights, look for opportunities and start conversations.
If you want to give Social Selling another try, or are completely new to it, take a look at my post ‘3 Top Start Today Tips’ for advice on getting started or take a look at our Events page for more information on our 1-day Social Selling workshops.