5 Traits of a Social Sales Person

Janet Fouts Social Business Strategist, Tatu Digital Media

Posted on January 10th 2013

5 Traits of a Social Sales Person

Social Sales and Social BusinessI love dealing with a talented sales person. Sometimes I’ll buy from them just because they are so good at their job I just want to support them. I will choose a store, a vendor because of the caliber of sales. Think about it, good sales people have always been social, it just used to take a lot longer to connect with a large number of clients. Today, it's fast, easy and relatively inexpensive.

Good sales people  get to know you, what you like, how to please you and bring you back for more. That’s their job, and with the good ones it’s their passion.

What are the traits of a good sales person?

  • Knowledge of the product and industry
  • Understands competitors their products and markets
  • Willing to listen to what the market wants and what their issues are
  • Asks good questions
  • Keeps in touch with clients and prospects

Now let’s look at how a sales person works within a social business.

Knowledge of the product and industry
With social media listening tools you can stay a step ahead of industry news, public perception of the industry and of your own products. Following a few trade blogs can show where the industry is going and perhaps alternative uses for the product that may have slipped under the radar. You may also find opportunities to correct misconceptions and solve people’s pain points. See a complaint about your product online as an opportunity to engage that user, solve their problem and turn them into an advocate.

Understand competitors, their products and markets
Using those same listening tools, find out what the competition is up to. Read customer feedback and look for opportunities to beat the competitor to the punch with new messaging online that highlights your own product–which just happens to have the feature that is missing in the competitors’. Become an industry resource and when people need a solution to a problem who are they gonna go to?

Listen to what the market wants and what their issues are
This is different than knowing what you want to sell to the market. Listen long enough and you’ll soon see patterns developing in what people talk about around the industry. They’ll tell you what the flaws in the product are and how to fix it. They’ll tell you if they use another product instead because it has just the add-ons they need to get the job done.They’ll tell you when they are thinking about making a purchase.

Ask good questions
Needless to say you have to ask good questions too and then listen to the answers. Think of social media as a huge focus group. You can pose a single question on 20 different platforms, collate the answers and have a completely different perspective on what your customers need. Rinse, repeat.

Keep in touch with clients and prospects
Never has it been easier to keep in touch with clients. Social CRM tools like Salesforce, Hubspot and Nimble allow us to see what prospects and clients are saying on social media sites and create relationships with them before and beyond the sale. Paying attention to what they care about in the world gives you more opportunities to deepen relationships and create warm leads. Who doesn’t love a warm sales lead?

photo credit: aldenjewell via photopin cc


Janet Fouts

Social Business Strategist, Tatu Digital Media

Founder and CEO of Tatu Digital Media, a San Jose Digital Marketing Agency. Founded in 1996, Tatu Digital works with a range of clients from tiny non-profits to Fortune 50 corporations to manage brand reputation, create effective social business strategies, manage campaigns, search engine optimization and marketing.

Janet is a frequently requested speaker on the topics of digital marketing and social business at conferences and within corporations around the world.  She has written 4 books, Social Media Success!Google+ for Business tweetSocial Media PR tweet and Social Media Nonprofit tweet, and blogs at JanetFouts.com and Tatudigital.com with actionable business advice for today's social business.

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Kent Ong
Posted on January 11th 2013 at 4:45AM

Hi Janet, one trait is very important that every salesman should have to make the world better is - giving value. Focusing on giving value to consumers or customers is a great way to sell. Sell in old English is sellan, it means "to give". Most of the time salespeople focus on grab something from customers, in fact, we should focus in giving value.

Posted on January 23rd 2013 at 4:53PM

Very true Kent. Generosity is the key to good relationships and especially so for sales relationships.