I am a social media work in progress. My personal journey is a tale of starts, stops, sorrow, and joy. First, I was enthusiastic because I would never need to cold prospect again. Second, I quit all together because the problems of a random former classmate seemed a huge waste of time, (and I didn’t magically have all the business I needed.) Then, I jumped back in with both feet and a marketing budget only to quit again because I couldn’t create a calculable ROI. Now, with scar tissue, I am ready to declare the three things every salesperson can do that are free, easy and will support your business plan: Build your brand, connect to extend your network and engage to increase your credibility.
Build Your Brand
Branding is confusing and often overwhelming for for individual salespeople. I vote we simplify it and social media gives us a tool. Our objective is to be remembered for the right reasons. Jayson Demers wrote for Inc. that “if content is the fuel for your personal brand, social media is the engine”.
If your social media profiles are tight and tell the story of you, three things magically line up:
1) You remain top of mind with potential clients
2) You have instant rapport when making sales calls
3) Your prospecting calls are more likely to be returned.
Recently, I presented to a room of sales ninjas and said, “the next step is to connect with people you know”. There was a collective groan as the room immediately assumed i was about to waste several minutes of their valuable time. What we subsequently discovered was that everyone in the room was leaving connection opportunities on the table.
Strike while the iron is hot; partners, clients, and friends of friends are more likely to connect immediately after meeting you.
Go back and connect with your previous clients – all of them.
Turn every face to face opportunity into a network expanding exercise. Connect with everyone you meet at your kids school, soccer events, your clubs, and your non-profits.
Leverage events by connecting with people that are at the same place you are. Follow a Facebook event or a Twitter hashtag for the events you are attending and send connection requests to the attendees. This works especially well when you are recruiting or connecting with Realtors.
Actually talking to people on social is the best way to create visibility and reinforce your brand. I am guilty of lurking and not responding to engagement opportunities but it is so easy to like something or provide your feedback.
Business2Community posted 50 Ways to Increase Social Media Engagement, One of the tips I like the most is to showcase your fans and employees. You create opportunities to leverage networks and start a meaningful conversation when you compliment or announce good news for your team.
Engagement on social is like engagement face to face. Be present and contribute. One of my team members blocks time each day to just go out and like things and make pithy comments. It makes you a real person and helps keeps you top of mind.
Use social media to build and reinforce your brand, connect with folks you wouldn’t otherwise and engage in a meaningful way, you will find that sales calls are easier, your conversion rates are higher and your approach success is amplified. Simple disciplines repeated often are usually the answer and your social strategy is no exception.