#Social Selling – Personalize, Influence & Resonate With Your Buyers

511zYH2TZILThe art of Social Selling is a continuous process that sales people do. There is no one way of doing it correctly! However, there are a lot of ways you should do it… Notice the word; should. Tim uses a great example to paint a picture of what you shouldn’t do! Image you show up to a networking event (in person event), walk in the front door and yell:

“…’Hi, I’m Tim and I have this great telephone system!’, then launch into my pitch… I’m sure this would silence the room…”[note]Page 47[/note]

Nobody would want to talk to you. Everybody would think you’re nuts! This goes for Social Selling and reaching out to people on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook etc. The minute you connect with them, you blast them your sales pitch. We’re all guilty of it… because it’s the easiest approach. We think, ‘Oh, they accepted… they must know I want to sell them xyz, I’ll pitch them now.’

Good God, no! This is such a turn off. Just wait until it happens to you. This goes for recruiters too! Don’t send your canned, junk, message via LinkedIn after I connect. I’ve got my cell number, my email, my twitter handle and my WeChat information on my LinkedIn. I’ve NEVER had a recruiter hit me up on one of those networks. WHY? Laziness perhaps. Try one of those mediums and watch how fast your response time is.

But, most of all, personalize your message! What does EVERYBODY and their mother talk about?! Personalize your message, dangit. As you build your network, reach and connections, you’ll need to begin connecting with ‘influencers’. You don’t have to… but when someone with 30k+ (industry specific) connections on LinkedIn likes/comments on your post, you’re going to gain a lot of exposure. Makes sense right…? You share something that someone loves and they share it. Your network + their network = reach. Simple… In building rapport with ‘influencers’;

“Influencers will want a personalized message just like everybody else. Use your best active listening techniques. Read the material they write and when you connect with them, sell them the parts you like best of all. For example, tell them ‘I’ve read your blog and can really relate with the Networking event theme.'[note]Page 57[/note]

Everybody likes a nice pat on the back. Tell them something nice about their LinkedIn profile, share some of their content on other network, comment on their website… the list is endless. I will tell you, from personal experience; influencers aren’t just sitting around waiting for you to like their ‘stuff’. They aren’t going to respond at your first attempt. It took me over a year to connect with a very well known CEO… then, it took me another six months to ask the correct type of question to get a response. It isn’t easy, but it was so worth the wait.

In the attempt to connect with ‘influencers’, we also need to focus on our influence. If you’re not a thought leader, trusted advisor or credible source, how are buyers supposed to trust you in the sales process? I think it depends on the type of buyer… but, if you can engage with prospects on multiple platforms, you’ll build credibility. Or, send over an article you wrote to a prospect and see how much credibility you gain! In terms of influence;

“We have two jobs to do. First, our own influence needs to increase. Second, the influence of others who are not helpful to us needs to decrease. Controlling influence is also a constant process.”[note]Page 63[/note]

This is a VERY slow process. It takes a long time to create and if you don’t do it the ‘right’ way, you can destroy your influence in the matter of minutes. A quick guide to establishing influence doesn’t exist. So… you better be in this thing for the long game! You can’t fake your way to the top… sorry.

I’ve found that creating a time frame of when I want to execute on things is very beneficial. That way, while I’m building my network, brand and connection base, I can continuously push out content and engage with people. Creating content is probably the most difficult part only because it’s the most time consuming. But, once you find a topic that gets a lot of engagement, you feel rewarded.

“When on social networks, it is essential that you create resonance in some way. Everyone on a social network is having their attention attracted by something – your job is to be the one who attracts it.”[note]Page 77[/note]

#Boom – Plain and simple. Become relevant, resonate with them and provide some value in some way. If you’re in HR sales.. talk about law changes or compliance. If you’re in travel, show them pictures and top 10 places to visit. Sell cars… show someone safest/fastest cars. Just resonate with your buyers! Each social channel has it’s own ‘voice’… so make sure you’re speaking the right language.


Don’t worry; There’s more from me to come about:

Social Selling | Tim Hughes

An Incredible Guide to Hacking Sales!

hacking salesI don’t care if you’ve been in sales for 25 years or you’re just starting your sales career. This is MUST read. Gold… pure gold! There are so many Ah-Ha Moments throughout the book, it’s hard to choose which ones to write about. Max has taken the entire sales cycle; from figuring out your ideal customer profile to closing the deal, and consolidated it into a book. The examples, testimonials, and tools he talks about are mind boggling. You’ve gotta read it to believe it.

“A good sales process is a science, and science is the new art.”[note]Page 3[/note]

Absolutely… 100% true. Being a salesperson takes a lot of hard work and time. Every organization is different, so there’s so many different types of processes out there. Where do you get your leads from? How do you scrub your data? Do you use a CRM? Who do you try to sell to? Do you leverage the internet to educate yourself?

There is so much accessible data in the information age! You can literally find information about anyone or anything. How you leverage that data to begin a conversation is where ‘painting the picture’ begins. (Like that pun… to art?)

Incredible sales tools for leadgen, building lists and scrubbing data on Pages 10-39[note]Pages 10-30[/note]

There are literally too many awesome tools between these pages to single any of them out. I’ve used a handful of the tools that Max talks about and I now have a list of tools I will try in the near future. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that these tools will help you with your business. They’ll help you find your prospects faster; they’ll help you get contact information and they’ll help you scrub your data to make sure it’s fresh information.

DISCLAIMER: Just because these tools will help you with your job, it doesn’t mean you can only rely on these tools. You still need to call, email and provide value!

“You still need to learn things about your prospects so that you can deliver a message that is relevant to them and provide value in the sales process.”[note]Page 41[/note]

Exactly! Researching for prospective clients is just one step of the process. Now it’s your turn to get educated on your potential client! Well… you’ve got the internet for that. Websites, job boards, social media, investor relations… the list is endless. You can literally find whatever you need on the internet. With that in mind, it is the internet and anybody can post anything.

You want to make sure that the information you use while reaching out to a prospect is relevant and true. The last thing you want to do is call someone the wrong name or reference bad data. You’ve closed the door before you even had the chance to open it.

“The first message you send to prospective customers is absolutely crucial, so this first-touch e-mail needs to work in your favor.”[note]Page 49[/note]

The first message can easily get you in the door or it can easily get you put in the spam folder. Leveraging information about the person’s position, their success, their company, a trigger event, local or similar customers can definitely spark the prospects interest. Personally, I’ve had success with, “Company XYZ, next door, leverages our service, have you and Mr. XYZ met before?”

Companies like knowing that their local business people use a common provider. (I have a geographical territory). Changing laws is another great approach that can spark people’s interests. Customer testimonials with ROI’s is another great example. Be creative and personalize the approach and you’ll do fine. Whether you get a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’, both are better than a ‘no response’.

“In sales, ‘no’ is the second-best answer. ‘Yes’ is the first, but a ‘maybe’ or not receiving an answer at all are by far the worst.”[note]Page 60[/note]

100% agree with this one. I hate the feeling when a prospect says they’ll ‘get back to me’. Then, I spend an eternity trying to figure out how I should check back in. I stopped sending ‘checking back in’ emails a long time ago. Now, I send over links or white papers with information as to why they should choose me and my service.

It’s the absolute worst once the prospect has gone silent for a few weeks and then they email back saying, ‘sorry, we’ve decided to go a different direction.’ God…. It makes me want to pull my hair out. If they would have told me ‘no’, weeks ago, I would have moved on. I think, it’s our right as a sales person to make sure there is a transparent understanding of the sales process. If you don’t want to partner, tell me so I can move on!


There’s more to come from me about:

Hacking Sales | Max Altschuler

Connect with Max on Twitter: @MaxAlts

Connect with me on Twitter: @Barta57