The social selling ‘miracle’ pill

Wessel Berkman

If you listen to the social selling gurus on selling through social media platforms, you could start to believe that it’s the ‘miracle’ pill for salespeople. Especially for salespeople without a network, who do few sales pitches, aren’t in contact with decision-makers and, as a result, have trouble closing deals. By pimping their Twitter and LinkedIn profiles and attending a few networking courses, important decision-makers will come within reach. By sharing and liking a lot, these salespeople become experts in their area fast. Tools do all of the work, salespeople just have to ‘click’ a little online and turnover doubles. At least, that’s how some people make it seem.

Many organizations are desperate to increase their turnover. This leads to a lot of social selling and LinkedIn courses, smart tools such as LinkedIn Sales Navigator and all kinds of marketing automation packages being sold in the digital sales market. The old sales-centric model is losing its powers and the new customer-centric model hasn’t been embraced by the management, sales and marketing departments.

But does this miracle pill work? Of course reality is not that straightforward. Let’s begin with the definition of social selling. My definition is as follows:

1) building a warm one-on-one relationship,

2) enticing and inspiring,

3) raising trust levels and credibility,

4) identifying opportunities,

5) all of which helps you generate a hot lead.

You convert this hot lead to a deal. That happens in the phase after social selling, called SalesART, which is the art of selling in the most distinctive way possible.

With existing customers, the first few points are of less importance. A trusting relationship has at that point – hopefully – been established. Enticing and inspiring on the other hand is something that has to happen continuously. Unfortunately it is often forgotten, which is the main reason why customers walk away. If you wish to generate hot leads through social selling, you need to be able to make a difference, which is similar to physical sales. What makes your organization distinctive and relevant for your prospect?

In order to become distinctive, a cultural change, together with discipline, teamwork and collecting knowledge on the prospect, is needed. It’s also important to create relevant content for this special prospect, content that surprises the customer in his or her need for a total solution. That is the surprise element of sales: creating added value with more impact than the competition.

It’s better to treat social selling as a part of a modern commercial digital blueprint than to experiment with separate projects. Digital social selling is a part of the ultimate customer journey. Salespeople from the offline era know this like no other. Digital features help them create better efficiency with both existing and new customers. Online selling is just another step in the traditional selling process. Unfortunately, this is bad news for salespeople who hoped for a fast and easy sales boost, but … the miracle pill doesn’t exist.

Do you want to learn more about what a modern sales machine and commercial blueprint should look like? Take the test, download our whitepaper and book an inspiration session and challenge your team to find ways to make a difference with your organization.

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