In the age of social media, friendships have taken on an entirely different look than in years previous. Take a step further and it's easy to see that building friendships via digital can drive business growth as well.
My guest on this episode of Social Business Engine is Jon Ferrara, the founder and CEO of Nimble. Jon has a long history of building relationships, building friendships, building companies, and driving business results. He’s the perfect person to talk to about how we can drive business through genuine friendships in the age of social media.
Why Salespeople Should be Using Social Media for Prospecting
Imagine the interactions and engagements that are going on in your industry or niche as a river. There are many conversations, people, and companies that contribute to the activity which makes up that river, and the majority of them, these days, are happening on social media. You don’t want to be among the people sitting on the bank watching everything happen without you - you need to jump into the river and start swimming.
Jon says that when salespeople become willing to dive into the river and start swimming - which means authentically engaging, investing time, building relationships, being helpful - they'll discover a whole new world of prospects and business which traditional sales models simply can’t access.
In the Age Of Social Media, One Platform is Not Enough for Driving Business
For business and professional relationships, LinkedIn is the platform of choice for most professionals. For personal interactions, it’s often Facebook or Instagram that's the go-to social media tool. Jon believes that salespeople need to be engaged in all forms of interaction - professional, personal, etc. - in order to come across as a "real" person. It’s by showing your personality, and discovering commonalities, that people begin to trust you.
Every relationship takes time, and Jon is willing to put in the time required to walk the relational path with people online. He encourages today’s salespeople to be willing to do the same - utilize every social media platform you can reasonably keep up with so that you can connect with prospects on many different levels. You can only drive business when people feel comfortable with you first.
Service is the New Selling, So Stop Trying to Get a Lead Right Now
There are many ways salespeople can approach the use of social media for prospecting, and Jon has seen the best and worst practices. In the podcast, Jon shares some of the worst things he’s seen, and outlines some key lessons.
First, don’t talk about yourself or your products. Really, don’t. You need to be a presence on social media who is genuinely interested in helping, that’s it. As people notice your helpfulness and expertise, they’ll check you out in ways they feel comfortable with. Many of those people will become prospects, you just need to give it time.
Jon advises that:
"People don’t buy great products, they buy a better version of themselves."
As such, pitching your product the first chance you get is never a good play - especially on social media. The people you’re trying to sell need to first see your genuine concern for them, that you want them to become that better version of themselves which they're striving for.
When they see you're able to help them get there, they'll be open to talking with you about the stuff you’re selling.
Featured on This Episode
- Jon on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonvferrara/
Outline of This Episode
- [2:15] Why you should be using social to prospect
- [4:55] What if your prospects are not on social media?
- [7:51] Which social channels should salespeople be using?
- [10:02] How to identify influencers to reshare and build your brand with a hashtag
- [14:30] How Jon’s use of social builds his personal brand and his company’s brand
- [22:29] Things you should NOT be doing on social media
Resources & People Mentioned
- Jon’s first appearance on Social Business Engine from 2015
- Tiffani Bova: http://www.tiffanibova.com/
- Zig Ziglar: https://www.ziglar.com/
- BOOK: How To Win Friends and Influence People: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0671027034
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