Social Surrounding: to some, it’s just something we should do in the world of sales. To others, it’s a massive invasion of privacy.

But, what is social surrounding?

Simply put, it’s the act of using online-available information about buyers. The information is all in the public domain but your ability to find, organize and action it will ensure maximum impact.

Let’s discuss social surrounding at a high-level to illustrate how you can begin to look at this concept and start using it.

In visual form, social surrounding can best be painted as the following:

Socially Surrounding

Finding Information

There are a ton of great tools in the marketplace to help you find information about buyers.

Wondering about an example are you? Here is a super simple one: did you know you could Follow buyers and companies in LinkedIn? What a great way to know what people are up, what interests them and more.

You can also use tools like Google Alerts to help uncover information about people or the companies they work for.

Organizing Information

Your ability to take the right information and store it for future use is imperative. Don’t wonder if there is enough information about buyers, companies and industries online, instead plan for what information to take store.

Your energy is finite. Storing too much information for future use will just prevent you from using it in the first place. It’s almost better to pick one good nugget you find and throw out nine others.

Check out great tools like Nimble that help you find and store the right information. I recommend Nimble because it finds, curates and organizes a lot of that right information for you.

It’s Time for Action

Okay great, now you’ve found and organized the right information about your buyers. The information is incredible as it can help you in your particular sales process.

Now what?

The information you find and store is meaningless if you don’t use it. Every interaction you have with a buyer should have elements of relevance. Sales professionals that use online information incredibly well are able to stand out from the crowd by bringing greater context to buyer relationships.

In fact, isn’t that what sales is about? Our job is to assist buyers through a journey that they want to go down. You can’t do this without taking action my friends.

I’ve talked to so many sales professionals that are embarrassed to let buyers know that they are researching them online. They’re afraid to look and sound like “stalkers” (a term used by many sales pros).

Social Selling isn’t just about connecting to prospects on LinkedIn and sending an InMail from time to time. It’s about advancing real buyer relationships. One effective way to do this is to let buyers know that you are well versed and care about more than just the transaction.

The Bottom Line

The problem with using online sources to find information about your buyers is that, in some cases, there’s too much of it! Using tools such as Google Alerts, for instance, without careful search parameters will yield far too much data.

Remember, your goal is to learn social surrounding tools effectively. Yes, time is required. Finding information is only one piece of the puzzle; you must then also learn to organize the right information and use it in the right scenario.

So, are you ready to join thousands of your sales professional peers and begin social surrounding to your advantage?

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

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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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