I was asked at one of my recent marketing seminars by an attendee what is social selling and how does that fit with my business?

Here an expanded version of my reply…

Social selling generates 40 percent more qualified leads and opportunities than cold calling,” according to Hootsuite’s global vice president of enterprise sales, and it makes senses that before, during and after sales businesses can use social media to find, connect and nurture leads.

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During prospecting any sales professionals can use social media to generate high quality leads, pinpointing individuals who are actively searching for a product or service offered by their company. It is extremely important to seek out social media users who may have an immediate need to be addressed but it is also equally as important to look for opportunities to build relationships over the long term. I think this fits with our culture and the principle of relationships and the old adage that “no one likes the hard sell”

It is not uncommon for a restaurant or hotel to use social media channels to search for local residents who are asking other social media users about recommendations for places to stay or to eat and those establishments can work to foster a relationship with those prospects in order to draw them in for a meal or for a hotel recommendation.

To identify viable sales leads, small businesses can turn to tools like Hootsuite, uberVU and the likes of Riffle by CrowdRiff, that allow for keyword searches, geolocation searches and even searches across channels.

The practical advice is focussed on three simple tips;

  1. Listen on multiple social networks.
  2. Monitor prospects for opportunities to engage in conversation.
  3. Use a social relationship platform to execute a long-term plan.

The world of marketing is ever-changing and this is one of the reason your strategy in this field can stop working and so social selling is an ideal way to garner and foster good relationships with potential clients.

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