Building RelationshipsSocial selling – so many misconceptions about it exist! One popular myth that many are espousing is that social selling is for sales functions like SDRs, BDRs, Inside Sales and Account Executives.

What about Account Managers or those in Customer Success? Where’s the love?

In this blog I wanted to begin to outline some of the key things you can begin to do to start making impact right away.

But First, Why Does This Matter?

When asked if building relationships in B2B consultative sales is important, the clear answer is a resounding yes. But how do you begin to build rapport and relationships? The seeds for this must be planted in advance.

There are many creative approaches to this. A great way is to begin conversations with people about topics that matter to them.

No, this isn’t disingenuous, sneaky, tricky or deceptive. It’s the seed to building a lasting relationship with a human being that may lead to a positive commercial outcome for you, the sales professional.

Account Managers: How You Find What Matters to My Buyers?

Firstly, you can start to socially surround you buyers. If you have tools like LinkedIn Sales Navigator, the process is a bit simpler, but even those with the plain vanilla free version of LinkedIn can take full advantage.

Step 1: View your prospect’s recent activity

It doesn’t matter if you’re not connected to the buyer or not, but you can get information about them as if you are. You can still have great visibility into what they’re liking, commenting or sharing on LinkedIn.

On anyone’s LinkedIn profile, hover your mouse over the downward facing arrow (it looks like an upside down pyramid)

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Step 2: Follow your top potential buyers and see what they’re doing daily.

Now, press the “follow” button on the top right to begin to expose yourself to what matters to them.

This information appears in your main newsfeed and looks as if you’re already connected to them. Pretty powerful, right?

LinkedIn EngagementBefore you wonder if I’m recommending you follow every single buyer, ask yourself if that makes sense. I’d follow people that I’d like to build a relationship with that may lead to revenue potential at a later stage.

Step 3: Engage!

If you see a prospect making commentary about something you have knowledge about, why not jump in and add your insights? After all this is social media. The goal is to be professionally social.

Be candid with them – do you like what they’re saying? Do you disagree? Let them know. Be kind, polite, courteous and prepare to enter into conversations with others around you as well.

The Surprising Part About Engagement

Most sales people aren’t comfortable with doing this. Because of our fear to be ourselves, we stick to and hide behind typical prospecting styles like “Hi, my name is this, I offer this, I’d like to meet you to tell you more, here are some times, can we meet?”

Believe me, your fears are largely unfounded. Jump in, have fun, and get involved!

Follow Those in Your CRM

While CRM is static and about what has happened (or what may happen), social media is about relationships.

At the bare minimum, you owe it to yourself to follow top buyers in each of the accounts you manage. So even if you can’t connect to them right away, follow them!

Use the intelligence you discover to begin conversations.

The Bottom Line

In summary, begin to follow 5 people right after you read this blog. And then start noticing what they’re up to. Can you help? Do you have ideas about the topic that you’re itching to tell them? Is there a better way that they may not have considered?

Believe me, it’s a fun process!

What do you think about building relationships online by first determining what matters to your buyers?

Tweet me your thoughts @AmarSheth or connect with me on LinkedIn to collaborate.

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Amar Sheth

Author: Amar Sheth

Amar Sheth has trained thousands of people worldwide on the topic of Social Selling, through a style that’s part storytelling and part motivational.

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