Slides from Daniel Newman's Blog: "9 Steps to Get Your 'Social-Selling' Program Off the Ground"
Here are a few tips to get your business (and customers) invested in social selling:
1. Get your sales team on board. Make sure you introduce them to the premise of social selling. This means spending time mining data and information that helps them understand how social media may help them connect to customers and can lead to sales.
2. Take baby steps. Sales executives often need some simple tactics such as how to use social media or content. I usually recommend a very simple program where the sales execs share three to five pieces of content a week via LinkedIn or email with at least five different customers and prospects. Make sure the customer gets a personalized message that says why the content is being shared and why it matters to the client. I also recommend setting up a follow up in the email that spells out an explicit action, like a follow-up meeting.
Related: The Tough Love Guide to Selling
3. Show results. Wins don’t have to be just sales. I advise clients to track conversations and appointments generated from the tactics I suggested above. For instance, have the sales person mark down responses to their social-selling tactics, coffee or other meetings that they may have led to and then of course any revenue opportunities that can be directly correlated to the efforts.
Once you got you sales team on board, here is how to customers excited about social selling.
4. Have your ear to the ground. Keep an eye out for content that is useful for your clients. Generally the content should be on topic and with some good tips or actionable items. Note that these may also be good for future clients and prospects.
5. Keep track. When you find useful content, it is a good practice to keep an Excel or Word document where you keep the article titles, links and main topic. Also, look to software that can help keep track of metric, like views, clicks and time spent examining the content.
Related: 5 Lessons From Sales for Entrepreneurial Success
6. Find connections. Look for opportunities to pair the content with specific clients. Keep tabs of this in your document to know what you sent to an individual. Over time you should build an aggregate of useful content that helps provide more clarity to your message and your customer needs.
7. Make it meaningful. Deliver the content with an email and a simple message that helps the customer or prospect understand the topic and why you think it is important. Often referring to a previous conversation where the topic was discussed.
8. Include a call to action. Make sure the client needs to take some sort of step. Some examples include a follow-up call or a meeting, where you can discuss the information.
9. Be consistent. The response rate will likely not be 100 percent but that doesn't mean clients aren't reading it.