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Social Selling: Key Concepts Defined
Posted on November 16th 2013
Social Proximity - refers to using your social connections and those of your sales team and other colleagues. You will find that if you’re always growing your network that you generally always have some sort of social connection to a prospective buyer. The more mutual connections the higher the social proximity, and thus higher likelihood of getting a good and quick referral or introduction. This is always the best way in instead of the “stranger” approach.
Social Surrounding - Socially surrounding your prospect involves you having a 360 degree view of the individual both professionally and personally. This is when true relationships can form and the best selling conversations take place. It eliminates the need to build rapport on the call because you’ve already done it over social. Now you can focus on a deep business exploration. Here’s an example:
- I am considering a potential lead, perhaps a director of Marketing in an organization
- I look at my sphere of influence in the company using LinkedIn an use a mutual connection to I include in the LinkedIn invitation.
- While I’m doing this I follow the company page too.
- I then use their profile to link out to their Twitter profile and begin following them there.
- I favorite a relevant tweet and retweet something interesting.
- I head back over to LinkedIn and “like” of of his posts.
- Now I find a LinkedIn Group they’re in and join it.
Buying Triggers - A buying signal or trigger event is an indication of purchase intent and buyers are giving them away, for free, on social media. These can come in hard or soft forms. An example of a hard trigger is somebody asking about the price or feedback around your product, or that of a competitor. An example of a soft trigger might be: let's say we sell baby cribs and we monitor people who are researching baby names. This intel tells us that in several months time this same person will be needing/shopping for a baby crib. By monitoring your prospects and the right topics on LinkedIn, Twitter, and more, you can pick up on these around your product or service. For a deep dive in to buying triggers visit this slideshare by Craig Elias.
- Uptick in marketing or advertising spend
- Funding events
- Geographic or territorial expansion
- Government approvals
- Strategic or mid-senior level management hires
- Uptick in product or service adoption
- Additions or changes to the board of directors
- New product releases or iterations
Buyer 2.0 - This refers to the new behaviour currently being exhibited by buyers. As a result of the internet, buyers have unprecedented access to information and reviews before ever talking to a salesperson. For B2B vendors to successfully attract and engage these buyers, new approaches, thinking and technology must be applied. Experiences must be consistently valuable and timely. The numbers fluctuate, but it’s estimated that buyers are now engaging reps with the buying process 65% complete. How are they getting this information? Through blogs, forums, and instant feedback from your customers over social media.
Understanding these concepts and behaviours can accelerate your social selling prowess and success. I’m always available on Twitter and on LinkedIn to answer questions and share best practices to your social sales team.