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From Instagram to Craft Beer: Turning A Common Interest Into A Sales Outcome

Posted by Amar Sheth on May 12, 2016 2:58:44 PM


Social Success FactorUsually we celebrate with a glass of wine after a deal is won. In this story, you’ll learn how a sales pro used wine with a dash of social selling to win a deal.

When it comes to context and relevance, Evan Lewis doesn’t mess around. Evan is a savvy sales pro at PostBeyond, a premier employee advocacy software platform.

His mission in life is to help companies and brands use every single advocate in the company to help evangelize its mission. That’s a bold dream, but someone has to do it, right? So how does Evan go to market, grab attention and sell deals?

This interview explains some of his tips and secrets. If you’re a sales leader or professional, you owe it to yourself to watch this. 


The Anti-Sales Rep?

Make no mistake about it, Evan is a sales professional; but, that’s not how he goes to market. He explains that buyers are tired of the typical, cookie-cutter sales rep. The one that asks and asks and asks and doesn’t provide anything in return (except a sales pitch).

Although not explicitly stated, his LinkedIn Profile speaks volumes about how he thinks about buyers. He’s positioned himself through stories and education that pinpoint the pain that his prospects are feeling today.

Wine & Revenue Never Tasted So Sweet!

In the interview, Evan provides an incredible story of how he chose to target a prospect. Perhaps target isn’t the right word. The word that’s best used here is engage.

When Evan discovered that one of his prospects was a wine aficionado, he began to engage her about that topic. You see, not every interaction with a prospect needs to be about getting down to business. Sometimes a little promance is needed. It’s not disingenuous, it’s a human way to express emotion and draw a connection with prospects.

After all, you’d never approach anyone at a networking event with a sales pitch right away, would you? So then why do we practice that behavior with prospects?

After captivating the prospect’s attention about a common interest, Evan earned the right to educate the prospect. This, in turn, enabled a business conversation to flourish.

Let’s stop here for a moment.

Executing the above in itself is a process that can be learned and repeated. It’s just that most sales professionals don’t do this – they may have not thought about it or don’t know how to. But, it can be done.

If you do this with a handful of your prospects on a daily basis, chances are you’ll have bountiful conversations with prospects in the market. In the process, you’ll make some friends and good business relationships.

So, it’s even better when some of these can be converted into sales opportunities. This is exactly what happened with Evan. After earning the right to have the business conversation, a sales opportunity was uncovered. Listen to Evan’s story of how he then converted this into one of the largest deals for his company.

The Bottom Line

Social sellers are proving that there’s another way to go to market. They know that using publicly available information can bring greater relevance and context to business conversations. They also know that people want to buy, but they don’t want to be sold to.

What are your thoughts on Evan’s story? Tweet me @AmarSheth or connect on LinkedIn to share.

You can tweet and follow Evan on Twitter @evanlewis_ as well!

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Amar Sheth

Amar Sheth

About the Author

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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