I call it “socially surrounding” the buyer but many people, in jest, call it spying. Call it what you will but the advantages are obvious: listening to what buyers are doing online has tremendous benefits and can catapult your sales results.
How? Well, it’s simple. Having information about your buyer can significantly help you in planning the next phase of your sales process. Whether you’re trying to land the first meeting, moving from first meeting to demo, demo to proposal, or proposal to close, you can use actionable and publicly available information/intelligence to power your next sales move.
We all know this, too. This is why our sales managers are always telling us to know thy buyer; know their likes, dislikes, where they’re going on vacation, what their hobbies are, and more.
Information Is Power
If information is power (and I’m confident we all believe this), then a lack of information, quite plainly, is hazardous to your sales health.
So here’s what I want you to do. Pick your top 5 prospects and try the following. You’ll be shocked and/or amazed at the results!
Step 1: Follow Your Target Contacts on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Step 2: Approach your prospect with information about them, or their company, or their industry.
Think of it as a layered approach and as a rock-solid guide to help you learn more, internalize more, all in an effort to better serve your buyer!
Adding Value First
If you’ve been in sales for a while or you’re new to the industry, you know that providing insights and education can boost your chances of success. Moreover, if you’re the first to do it (not first literally, but sometimes the first to add noticeable insights) you can increase your chances even more.
In fact, data from Corporate Visions illustrates that 74% of the time buyers choose the sales person that’s first to add value. You can learn more about where social fits in the buying journey in our ebook here. It’s nice to have some data to back up what we already all (should) know, right?
So that’s why it matters.
The effort to socially surround a buyer isn’t for fun, it’s not so you can brag that you know how to “spy” on your prospects, it’s actually for you to USE! Don’t put this information in an ivory tower and lock it up. Use it. Let buyers know that you care by taking time to getting to know what they, their companies and overall industries are doing.
Try it out and let me know.
And before we finish off, let’s end with some very important words.
Caveat! Nothing happens in Social Selling with one or two touches (seriously, did you expect it to?). Like everything we do in sales, Social Selling also requires a multi-touchpoint strategy and plan. Some approaches work great, some I’ve seen not so much.
I hope this doesn’t put you off from doing this. Don’t your existing and new business partners deserve your best? Show it to them by knowing more about them.