A winning smile, a little know-how, and letting the client win a round of golf or two was once all it took for a salesperson to stay top dog in the world of sales. Fast-forward to today, however, and it's a different story. Clients are busy, and their time is important. Instead of discussing business over drinks after a round of golf, they can simply search online for information about your products or services and make an informed decision without you ever stepping foot in their door.
To adjust for this changing trend, today's top sales performers are investing in Social Selling. If you haven't made the leap yet, then you are missing out.
The Times They Are A-Changing
If you're like some old-school sales people, you may think that Social Selling is a waste of time. After all, cold calling has long been the traditional technique used by sales people who want to get to the top. If you're still holding onto that antiquated belief, however, it might surprise you to learn that according to a study by Forbes, sales people who use social selling actually outperform those who aren't using social media by an astounding 78.6 percent. Jim Keenan, a social sales specialist, stated that even more surprising was that those using social media who were known to exceed their sales quotas, did so by 23 percent more than their non-social media counterparts. Social Selling success in sales is real.
It's Where the Clients Are
You may not have found them yet, but there are plenty of potential clients using social media. Twitter reports there are approximately 284 million active monthly users on their platform who are responsible for tweeting 500 million messages each day. Compare that with LinkedIn's 300 million members and Facebook's 665 million user base and you know that social media is where it's at.
Still in doubt? Jamie Shanks, Social Selling guru at Sales for Life, says it very clearly: “On average, for every $1 a company puts into a sales rep for Social Selling training, that sales rep will make the company $5 within 180 days! We’ve worked with 45,000 sales reps in over 200 companies and those are the results that they report”.
Uplift in Sales
Social Selling not only provides a way to get the word out about your products and services to a larger audience, over time it can also work toward helping you build and become a strong personal brand. When training is used effectively, a salesperson can increase sales by more than 50% in the first year. All it takes to effectively reach those numbers is to employ social selling techniques platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
Keeping an Eye on the Competition
Before social media became mainstream, companies had no way to know what their competitors were up to until after a new advertising campaign actually came out. Using social media tools gives sales people an edge by allowing them to monitor their competition. It can also help in recognizing changing trends in the marketplace, giving sales staff the opportunity to react to these changing trend movements proactively.
Learn More – Sell More
Before social media became mainstream, learning how to best meet the needs of a prospective client was often a guessing game. A salesperson could research a company and hope to find some mention of his prospect in a trade magazine or on a company website, but until he actually made the presentation he wouldn't know if his sales pitch was going to hit or miss. Social selling takes away a lot of the guessing game by allowing a salesperson to learn what potential clients want or think they need before ever actually approaching or meeting them.