Strictly Marketing Magazine May/June 2017 Issue Strictly Marketing Magazine mayjune 2017 - Page 9

As we look forward into 2017, we see social selling playing a bigger part of sales, not only in prospecting but also in servicing clients and building your professional network. Your goal with social selling should always be to exchange value with the other members of your network. If you’re not finding ways to communicate that add value to someone’s day, you’re not getting what you should be getting out of the platform in question! Whether it be in your existing relationships, while passing along information to groups, or while pursuing specific selling opportunities, you should always be looking for new ways you can use social selling to add appropriate value to your network. If you haven’t yet started to make adding value via social selling a part of your daily routine, we recommend taking these six action steps immediately. 1. Build a professional-looking, complete, and client-attracting (not job-attracting) LinkedIn profile. This should be your first priority. The profile you create must spotlight the pain arising from specific business challenges you and your organization have a proven track record of resolving. Pain, in this context, means the gap between what your typical prospect expects or desires … and what that prospect actually experiences in the real world, before yo u come along to fix the problem. Your profile must focus on that pain – not on the features and benefits of what you sell, and not on your own personal qualifications or achievements. 2. Add clients, vendors and other professional contacts to your online networks. It’s not so much the quantity of contacts you should be looking at as their relevance to your world. Ideally, your professional contacts should be composed mostly or entirely of people to whom you can add significant value, and vice versa. This goes for LinkedIn and for all other platforms where you have a professional presence. 3. Start sharing insights, articles, and other information your prospects will find valuable. Avoid randomly recirculating articles, news, and information that fall under the heading “general interest.” Keep your communication focused on issues relevant to a specific audience, and in particular on problems that audience faces that you can solve. 4. Build a list of prospects to watch, listen and engage with online. This is particularly easy to do on Twitter. Just make sure the Twitter account you use Is exclusively business- oriented! 5. Look for trigger events, specific problems you can solve, or pain indicators that will help you qualify prospects for interest … and take the conversations offline. There is a special art to taking business-related on-line conversations offline. 6. Join and participate in relevant discussion groups. Joining a group not only expands your visibility, it helps you to connect with others in your industry who share your interests. A few additional words are in order here about LinkedIn groups, which are extremely important for salespeople. Here’s why: As a group member, you are able to message other group members, something you would normally need to be a first- degree connection to do. It’s important to use this message allotment wisely! The free version of LinkedIn allows you to send up to 15 initial messages in groups per month. Strictly Marketing Magazine May/June 2017 9