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BLOGFour Steps from Social Strategy to Successful Sales

by Randall CraigFiled in: Blog, Business Development, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Sales, Social Media, Time managementTagged as: , ,

With all of the wheel-spinning and effort spent on social media, wouldn’t it be nice to actually use it to grow sales? Not improve awareness, develop the brand, help with marketing, or “continue the conversation”. But actually sell.

Here are four ways that social media can be use to sell services. (Here’s something for product sales.)

  1. Prepare your profile:  While many people think of their own profiles as “personal”, they are not: prospective clients may look at your profile to decide whether you have the experience to address their problem.  In other words, your profile may determine if they will meet you.
  2. Scan for opportunities: Instead of “conversations”, use your social media time to look for organizations that have a problem you can solve. The clues come from three key places: status updates from your connections, questions asked in their LinkedIn pages and groups, and queries on Twitter. Set yourself up to monitor these sources using a tool like Hootsuite.
  3. Pick up the phone: Before any critical meeting, check the prospect’s footprint on the major social networks. Beyond getting clues about the prospect’s background – and what is important to them – their profile will expose your mutual connections. Pick up the phone to these people to learn even more about your prospect’s motivations and modus operandi. Then start your sales meeting with a question: “I notice that we both know [insert connection’s name] – how did you meet them?”
  4. Build a referral network: Referrals are the lifeblood of a successful sales effort.  Testimonials that appear as LinkedIn Recommendations, Endorsements, and LinkedIn company page followership are examples of this.

These ideas mirror a traditional sales process:  Awareness, Prospecting, Meeting, and then post-sales referral.  The goal is alignment.

THIS WEEK’S ACTION PLAN

Whether your role is in sales or not, it’s time to change how you use these tools: move from a passive mode to a more active one.  A great way to start?  Pick up the phone – a computer is not your client: a real person is.

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