“More social?!” you’re exclaiming at your computer. “How the heck can sales reps get any more social?”
Relax. Let’s be real. Sales reps are often the social butterflies of your company. No need to hone their communication skills (unless there is, and then there’s a different blog post you should be reading). But now that I’ve gotten your attention, I can clarify: social media.
Sales reps can always up their social media game. No matter who you are or what you are selling, you may want to try utilizing social networks to close more business (herein referred to as social selling). Failure to do so is simply a missed opportunity to increase your reach with minimal effort.
Not convinced? Consider this: “72.6% of salespeople using social selling as part of their sales process outperformed their sales peers and exceeded quota 23% more often.”
Convinced, but not sure where to start? Here are four ways that your sales team can be more effective using social selling to drive business.
Optimize your social profile(s)
Filling out your profile with relevant personal information, linking back to your company’s website, and ensuring that you have a professional headshot is highly recommended for all platforms that you plan to leverage for business purposes. In particular, ensure that you have a polished LinkedIn profile.
A well-crafted headline and summary are also critical, as the keywords used in those sections can generate results for any given LinkedIn search that a potential connection is performing. There is also a feature that allows you to share multimedia on your LinkedIn profile, so highlighting videos, PDFs, or presentations in your summary or experience sections is a great way to showcase your company’s product, service, or value.
Share more content
Now that you’ve set up a profile you can be proud of, use the platform! Sharing content that you find interesting and that would be relevant to your target audience boosts your credibility as an expert in your field. An easy place to start would be your own company’s blog posts or highlights in the press. Not only does this increase your visibility, it drives traffic back to your company’s website and helps you stand apart from your competitors.
Take a stance
Already sharing content? Great! What do you think about it? Do you have an opinion on the article you are sharing? What was your response to a video you watched? Care to give a shout out to the prolific author of the blog article you’re posting?
Accompanying your link with unique commentary rather than defaulting to the copy given to you by the source is a great way to stand out, establish yourself as a thought leader, and share your personality with your social network. Take it a step further and publish your own post—either on LinkedIn or through your company’s blog.
Engage with your audience
What good is leveraging a social platform if you don’t have a network of people connected with you? Ensure that your connections are engaged and growing by having conversations on social—not just generating a one way stream of communication. Comment on other peoples’ posts, join groups, start discussions, ask questions of your network to gauge their interests, thoughts, opinions, and needs. This enables you to better understand them, and hopefully position yourself as a provider of value and a solution to their challenges.