With social media, the old expression “always be closing” has been revised to “always be disclosing”. Now you share your skill set, contacts, attitude and experience in an open forum allowing you to create new contacts, develop leads, and win the minds of others. This is powerful for sales people and speaks to the growing trend of developing a customer BEFORE they need what you have to sell.
Let’s take a look at how to sell with social media.
1) Courtesy leads to courtship
Acknowledge all messages, tweets, DM’s, FB messages etc. It shows you are listening and care about who is talking to you. Over time this behavior allows loose connections to tighten and turn into opportunities and real involvement.
2) Solve the little problems
Hear someone talking about a problem? Answer by sharing your vendors who’ve helped solve that problem before or the book you read about it, or the article with a definitive “how to” explanation on the issue. If you can help solve the little problems you develop traction and a pattern of success leading you to the big problems.
3) Talk about “efforts”
Take advantage of people’s natural curiosity and voyeuristic tendencies by talking about how you are working on other people’s projects. When your share the things you know, you deepen the well of competencies associated to you amongst those around you who are listening. Use the social networks to talk about projects, problems, and possibilities so people can re-establish what they “know” about you and what you do for others. This allows people to mentally map desired results to you.
4) Get private
By using a variety of open and public communication, you are able to show interaction with others. When you want to deepen your connection or establish an opportunity, take it private via email, direct messages etc. This is a natural progression in the selling process and shows specific engagement in your contact. However, use this with caution. If you jump to private too fast without good cause, you create red-flag “spammer” signals for your contact.
5) Take it offline
Turn your online contacts into offline contacts. Use face-to-face meetings or phone calls to take your connection to the next level. Don’t be afraid to take it offline to develop your contact with the power of your verbal skills and personality. And remember, people want to be heard more than they want to listen, so when you take it offline, let them talk!
BONUS: Serve Others
Use social media to genuinely serve others by helping them with their goals and you will sell each and every one of them on your value as a person, as a contact and a professional. Fill the karma bucket, develop a tribe of people who have drank your kool-aid and people will funnel others your direction.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. How are you using social media to sell?
About Justin McCullough
Justin McCullough is mentor, marketer and leader with more than 10 years of selling experience from startups to large corporations. Justin’s experience ranges from advertising agencies to newspapers and web development firms to book publishers. You can find out more about Justin at www.justinmccullough.com or www.leader4hire.net .
(Image by Tim Parkinson)