B2B sales has changed significantly over the past few years, as B2B buyers have changed the way they buy.
For B2B sellers to keep up with the evolving market, the key to success lies in changing the way they sell and adapting to digital disruptions in the buying process.
Today’s B2B buyers are socially sophisticated and informed and your sales team must be too. But where do you start and how do you know if what you’re doing is the right thing – and effective?
Here are some tips to help with your social selling practice:
THE POWER OF LISTENING
You wouldn’t arrive at a corporate networking event and start pitching to random people, so why would you act that way on social media?
Like with any good communication, it’s essential that you spend time listening, observing and researching your target audience before you jump in.
See what people are sharing, liking and commenting on and once you have a sense of what’s happening with you audience start engaging by asking questions and sharing advice.
VALUE FOR YOUR PROSPECTS
Make it about them – not about you! Keep the focus on what your followers and connections will find useful and interesting, not on what you want to talk about. It should never be a hard sell – post an inspiring quote or share a link to a helpful article. Be relevant, not objectionable.
Keep it human and conversational - avoid jargon and corporate speak – and talk in your own voice. Engaging using the old-school KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) concept will help you keep your appeal broad and relevant to a wider audience. People switch off as soon as they think you’re trying to wow them with intellect and too much information.
BE UPBEAT AND POSITIVE
When it comes to sales, social platforms are your professional domain. It’s ok for you to feel disappointed, upset or downright devastated if you lose a bid or get negative feedback from a client, but keep this emotion offline.
The voice and tone you use online reflect your personal and business brand - don’t allow a moment of emotional disappointment to impact your hard-earned reputation. And don’t forget that giving compliments on social is a really simple way to enhance your brand and help you remain one of the ‘good guys’. People like being complimented and they’ll remember you for your positive input.
BE CONSISTENTLY VISIBLE
To have an impact on social channels it is important to be consistently active. Random surges of activity combined with periods of no activity at all, will impact your credibility. This doesn’t mean you have to spend your life on social media but scheduling dedicated time for social selling into your calendar will help keep you visible and relevant.
ASK QUESTIONS AND SEEK FEEDBACK
Adding open ended questions to your social updates to encourage feedback and spark a conversation is a great form of engagement. Asking something as simple as “What do you think?” or “How did this work for you?” is a fantastic opportunity to gather data from prospects and even current clients. Just make sure you’re prepared for their responses!
BE CAREFUL WITH HUMOUR
You might be funny or have a great sense of humour but remember that on social you’re in the public domain and visible to everyone and not just people who share or appreciate your sense of humour. If you wouldn’t say something whilst presenting on stage, chances are social media is not the place to share it either.