Social Media for Increasing Sales
Sales professionals sometimes feel left behind by the fast moving world of digital communications and social media. Social networking can create new business leads but only when a sales approach is blended carefully with real customer value. Learning best practice in new digital communication provides a true competitive advantage and helps to deliver excellent return on investment for sales resources and activity.
To many sales people and in fact customer-facing people in general, consider social networking as a promotional tool. Whilst in some ways this is correct it is only part of the value that social networking provides in the sales toolbox.
The most effective use of social networking in a sales process is when the sales person listens. Consider Linkedin. Linkedin is a great engagement tool both for the individual but also for the organisation. However it's vital to listen and observe before committing, watch and sense the style tone and threads of Linkedin Groups before jumping in to sell your wares. By doing this you'll be engaging emotionally with those you are trying to influence and it will be a positive engagement.
A key trick to getting the balance right is to share value and this is possible by using the Rule of Thirds:
One third is to publish information about you and your organisation so that the reader gets to know you better. Where you can add value by talking about things that are relevant and interesting to them so much the better.
One third is what we call 'free stuff'. Signposting people to interesting articles, news, videos and even jokes can ensure you are unpredictable in your social networking and this keeps people engaged because they don't know what's coming next.
One third is then the overt sell. It's fine to sell products and services through social networking if first you have provided value in the previous two thirds.
So strike the balance and social networking can be a great means of increasing sales.