How is social selling helping marketing-sales professionals to improve their business relationships to become more trustworthy and sustainable? First of all, what is social selling? It is the art of using social media platforms to find, connect with, understand, and get to know, sales prospects for your business. Today, it is the most modern way to create meaningful relationships with others that could eventually become your customers.
Another objective of social selling is to become, in the mind of your followers, the first option they think about when they are ready to do a purchase. To become visible and discoverable for your target audience so that they can appear on your marketing radar when it is needed.
However, social selling is not only about gaining access to contacts, is also about building sustainable relationships and finding the right moment where you can present yourself as the solution to a problem that exists.
Social selling seeks to aim at addressing an existing need to make your prospect’s life easier, rather than being the traditional salesperson not many people like to deal with anymore. Cold selling calls, door-to-door vendors and live product demonstrations have stopped being popular since buyers don’t want to deal with salespeople until they are sure that they want to buy something and after previous Internet research.
This new way of doing marketing and business works for both B2C and B2B brands and some studies say that social media influences in a high percentage the buyers of B2B products. Social selling also helps gain visibility among the target market, deliver value to it and establish credibility, all through social media.
Why are good business relationships important?
Business relationships are those that are created between entities that are part of commerce. Anything from stakeholders to clients, employers, and employees, whether they are inside or outside the company, they are part of a business relationship.
Nurturing business relationships and creating and maintaining them in time will always be positive for your business in many ways. Having good relationships could come in handy when you need help with money or any other kind of resource.
However, business relationships don’t just happen overnight, they need to be cultivated, and like any plant, they need to be watered constantly for them to stay “alive”. They also rely on trust, loyalty, and communication, primarily.
Why should you and your company care about social selling?
First of all, because the art of selling has changed, as we said at the beginning of this article. The traditional way of selling, which used to be a one-way conversation between the sales representative and the buyer, is no longer valid. Today, in order to get people’s attention and convince them about getting your product, you need to use social media, in other words, get active on social selling.
According to Super Office’s blog, 67% of the buyer’s journey is now done digitally and people consume about five pieces of social media content from the brand before engaging with a sales representative.
In addition, according to the aforementioned website, the main reason you should care about social selling is that it works. Moreover, social selling helps your sales team build real relationships. Through social media, your sales team can identify new leads that are already talking about your business, competitors, or the industry. This is called social listening and helps the sales team know when and who to reach out to with useful information.
Another reason why you need to start using social selling is that, according to LinkedIn, 76% of buyers are ready to have a social media conversation with potential sellers, especially with industry leaders. Your brand can also become, in time, a leader in its niche by posting consistently thoughtful and relevant content on social media.
Social selling also helps you find the right people. Some social networks have many tools that allow you to reach exactly the people you want to engage and connect with. Using hashtags is a way to help your message arrive at exactly the audience you need – check the ultimate guide about LinkedIn hashtags to boost your marketing strategy.
Finally, if you are still unsure of why you should be using social selling, this reason will surely convince you: your competition is most likely using social media for selling.
How does social selling help you build sustainable business relationships?
Prospects today are sharing a lot of information about what they need, want, or don’t like, all of this on their social media profiles. This helps the sales representative have a more meaningful engagement with the potential client and build deeper relationships with him/her, all of it thanks to social selling tools.
One of the most important pillars of social selling has to do with nurturing and maintaining relationships in business. The tools we have available today help the salesperson or the marketing leader create a trusted platform that will allow them to have the best business conversations possible.
In addition, this trust that social selling helps create is also an incredible resource for both the client and the salesperson. Instead of a cold sales call, social media helps engage on a one-to-one basis, more similar to a friendship relationship, which, through time, creates loyalty and reliability.
All of this helps marketers to create more opportunities for sales than in other scenarios. According to LinkedIn, professionals that have a strong social selling index are 51% more likely to hit their sales quotas.
Employees can benefit from social selling as well because this practice helps them build their own personal and professional brands. It does not have to be an overwhelming task, sometimes only optimizing their social media profiles and sharing interesting and engaging content on them can quickly and unintentionally do so. You can do this on any social network, but LinkedIn is perfect for this precise purpose.
Finally, social selling tools help you build meaningful relationships. They will allow you to stay in touch with your contacts over time and see what they are posting, which allows you to comment, like, and engage in a conversation.
You will also be able to know about the contact’s personal and/or professional life, depending on which social media you are using. Send a congratulations message if the person achieves a new job position, or if he or she is asking for advice, you can try to give a meaningful answer, for example.
Thanks to these tools available today, like Sales Navigator, you can build and maintain over time new relationships that could mean new clients, business partners, or employees. Create trust and loyalty and they will turn to you when they need your service or product.