Seriously, how do they do it? They use the same social tools: LinkedIn, HootSuite, Twitter, etc. They have the same pressures and aspirations as the rest of us. Yet somehow, these Social Selling superstars not only make it work, they make it look easy. Today, we're pulling back the curtain and taking a good look at the gears of success. Here are 15 pieces of highly tweetable inspiration from winners in Social Selling.
1) “A LinkedIn profile should be as mandatory as an email address and phone number for sales people.” – Koka Sexton
Sales rules have fundamentally changed, and Koka has been helping sales professionals adjust to this new social landscape for nearly a decade.
2) "The world is full of sales people that are doing the same thing as everyone else. How will you differentiate yourself?" – Amar Sheth
Amar suggests you focus on engaging and educating buyers instead of just delivering sales pitches.
3) "Today’s buyers are web and social media savvy... and they are starting the sales process without you." – Barbara Giamanco
Barbara advises arming yourself with real-time intelligence and fresh insights because the customer has already read the specs.
4) "Set a goal of 20-40 meaningful interactions each week to start." – Kyle Porter
Kyle's running at a 40 percent success rate, so 30 meaningful interactions brings him around 12 qualified demos per week.
5) "The only capital that endures is relationship capital." – Brendon Cassidy
Brendon learned the hard way that you aren't getting without giving. His next goal is to see every sales person he hires become a VP of sales someday.
6) "Sales reps need to adapt or be replaced." – Jill Rowley
Her five pillars for staying relevant by social selling are:
- Boost Your Personal Credibility
- Always Be Connecting
- Content Is Currency
- Develop Social Listening Skills
- Track Vanity vs. Bottom-Line Metrics
7) “Some bigger customers will go all the way from pitch to close without a face to face meeting.” – Anneke Seley
Anneke explains how Sales 2.0 is essentially different now, and why sales and marketing have to be more closely aligned than ever before.
8) “Look, folks, you’ve got to stop thinking of social media as a direct response sales channel.” – Jay Baer
Jay's point is that social media can only be effective when it is used like email, not television. It should be a way to get know people better and make genuine connections.
9) "At the end of the day, we are all publishers, whether we are a marketer or a sales representative." – Gerry Moran
Gerry is making the point that customers are looking for the right content at the right time in the right channel.
10) “Non-sales employees are a huge source of untapped opportunity.” – Ken Krogue
Ken's research found that an employee advocacy program is a powerful source of referrals, which are by far the best source of leads.
11) “Learn to turn bottom-up tactics into top-down strategies." – Kurt Shaver
Kurt's seen salespeople master social media long before their managers knew what to do with it. He shows managers how to learn from the best sales professionals on the front line and make it standard procedure.
12) “Even a company as big and as old as IBM is adopting social selling. If IBM can do it, can’t you and I?” – Jon Ferrara
No more excuses, says Jon. Intelligent relationship platforms now make it easy for the beginning social seller to track hundreds of signals a day and identify the ones that matter.
13) “I figured if I couldn’t find the content I needed, I would create it myself.” – Sander Biehn
Sander detailed how he deployed blogging, LinkedIn and Twitter to earn two eight digit contracts in two years.
14) "Tailor your proof of concept....Paint the picture for the future state of the business." – Brian Lipp
Brian took home the $10,000 grand prize in the Social Selling with Sharks contest for his elemental approach that landed three back to back sales.
15) “The point of selling isn’t to win every deal. It’s not to have a close rate of 100%. The goal is to bring value.” – Jim Keenan
It sounds counterintuitive, but Jim is pointing out that selling is ultimately about being a good steward for your buyer. There's no way to know if you can truly add value in each case until you get into the sale.