LinkedIn recently posted slides from a webcast titled “5 ways to close more business with Social Selling” by Bob Moody and Amy Miller. It’s a great short summary of social selling, which I’ve included below along with my own tips:
- Build your profile: Build a strong online reputation that showcases your experience and increases your credibility. I suggest doing this on at least LinkedIn and Twitter, but ideally with your own web site (such as www.BrianGroth.com) and other social networks that your customers and partners may use.
- Develop your network: Develop relationships with people who can share information and provide referrals. I suggest groups on LinkedIn and making connections at events in person. I use meetup.com to find local events and to manage my own marketing + tech event that I co-host.
- Gather insights: Research social information to prepare for sales conversations. See the tools I have listed below. I’ve only used LinkedIn and InsideView (both are good), but a friend swears by PearlFinders and I’ve talked to people from IntroHive and Oventio, which both have impressive solutions.
- Contribute insights: Provide meaningful insights that earn opportunities to engage with and influence contacts. I suggest sharing where your customers and partners are, plus regularly blogging about topics they will care about.
- Use social solutions: Use targeted social media engagement and turn cold leads into warm prospects. See the tools below, but tips from these blogs are great to keep in mind: http://www.jillkonrath.com/, http://www.salesbenchmarkindex.com/, http://www.socialsellingu.com/.
Also, make sure you understand the difference between an Elevator Pitch, your Unique Selling Proposition and your Value Proposition.(thanks to Jill Konrath for that)
A few tools I’ve recently looked at to help identify the right people to grow relationships with, and the tools to gather insights before contacting those prospects are:
- To find IT Decision Makers: http://www.rainkingonline.com/, http://discoverorg.com/, http://www.netprospex.com/
- To find Marketing, IT, HR, Finance and Sport Decision Makers: http://www.pearlfinders.com/
- To find people across multiple industries: http://www.netprospex.com/, http://www.infousa.com/ (part of http://www.infogroup.com/),
- To gain insights about a person or company: http://www.firstrain.com, http://www.insideview.com, http://www.LinkedIn.com (and https://introhive.com/ (includes people your co-workers know through e-mail too)
- To find an event where a prospect will be: https://www.oventio.com/
What other tools do you use for social selling? Do you know of anyone who would like to hire me to help with any of these tools and topics?