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On June 3, 2015, Posted by , In Social Selling, With No Comments

There is a great deal of noise at the moment around ‘social selling’, but what is it and why is it important for every sales person to understand and use?

Social selling isn’t new. Nope sorry folks, we’ve been doing this ever since the first market stall was established, millennia ago. But back in those days the internet didn’t exist, you sold your goods to others in the village, but you still bought from people you knew and trusted.

Move forward a bit, and in today’s business to business selling world, the best sales come from people you know, trust and have empathy with. The challenge today of course is that many buyers use the internet to learn about products and services that are available.

Social selling is a daily mix of digital marketing, social media and good sales skills. As a social seller you need to use and understand each of the above and use them appropriately.

A real example:

I recently needed to buy a new car.  The choice is huge, but after doing my own needs’ analysis I came up with a short list of three manufacturers and cars that I thought would meet my needs.

  • BMW 2 series
  • Audi A3
  • VW Golf

I did online research, looked at CO2 emissions, costs and various other areas. I was undoubtedly influenced due to the work of the digital marketing people at each of the three manufacturers. This included websites, online brochures, technical specifications and so forth. I also received emails from various sources, providing valuable information on approximate costs.

I read online reviews, looked at feedback from journalists and other ad hoc sites, again I was influenced by social media. Twitter was my main source, but I also read a couple of blogs.

All manufacturers’ digital marketing and social media efforts helped me decide on models, but I didn’t buy until after experiencing the car and how I was treated by the various sales teams.

I’ve just ordered a VW Golf GTD. All manufacturers had their chance, but I didn’t buy from Audi or BMW due to their poor, or non-existent sales skills.

Remember people buy based on emotion – backed up by logic. I received a far better personal experience at VW. I felt they cared more, so all the digital marketing and social media effort of Audi and BMW was wasted, due to poor sales skills.

‘Social selling’ therefore is using digital marketing, social media and your sales skills to find relevant prospects, amplify your company’s reach, listen to the market, use collateral appropriately – but ultimately to win business.

Digital marketing and social media on their own might bring you the prospect but they won’t bring you the sale.

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