By Jack Kosakowski, Creation Agency
When talking about B2B sales, the term “social selling” gets tossed around in many different contexts with many different definitions. Some are confused about the term, and especially about “selling” piece.
Here is the funny part: The best salespeople never “sell.”
You may think of sales as a battle to get your product in your prospects’ hands. But in reality, selling is about trading value for value. You have a service or product that fixes a need (value). The buyer has money (value) that they can give you in return. The key to a sale is not necessarily your dogged pursuit of the prospect. It’s persuasion: getting the prospect to understand the value proposition. Social done correctly can be a major ingredient in the process of persuasion alongside the other components needed to get an outcome where both parties win.
What is and isn’t “Social Selling”
I’ve made a career out of my passion for social in the sales process. I’ve learned a lot in the process. Trial and error seems to be the name of the game in all things sales. Social is no different.
If you aren’t creating offline conversations and turning them into sales conversations using social media, you aren’t “social selling.” You are “social marketing.”
If you aren’t using social as a communication tool before, during, and after the sales process consistently with social buyers, you probably won’t be successful using social to sell.
If you think “social selling” is all you need in your sales toolbox, you are mistaken. You must create a habit of using social combined with the phone and email in your sales process to move your buyers from online relationships to offline closes.
If you are asking more than you are giving in your social communication and engagement with buyers, you aren’t social selling, you are selfishly “social spamming.”
If you want someone’s time, give them so much value that when you get to the “OFFLINE” ask, it will be easy for them to say “Yes.”
Use Social as Your Value Weapon. Use the Phone to Sell.
Don’t be scared to ask for a phone call using social. Just use that ask for anything but a “sales conversation.” Nobody wants to be sold first call. How do you get that call? Be creative. Be interested. Be prepared. Be relevant.
Use the first call as your commitment that you are worth a “sales” conversation moving forward. Then use social to advance the discussion.
Jack Kosakowski is a passionate practitioner and visionary in the social selling space, which is apparent in all of the content he has published on LinkedIn, Business2Community, Sales Hacker, Convince and Convert, and Act-On Software’s blog. Jack is currently Global Head of Social Sales Disruption at the Creation Agency. He works with B2B companies to infuse social into the traditional B2B sales process. He is also in charge of marketing automation and social media targeting in the US.