What is B2B social selling? There are many definitions, such as using social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc., to spread the word about products and services to potential customers and clients. Although these definitions encompass the literal meaning of the words “social” and “selling,” social selling is not just pushing your products and services through a social media outlet. In fact, it’s something you’ve probably done in the past without realizing it.
To me, social selling for B2B inside sales is using your resources to your advantage.
Pre-call research is essential to social selling. If you are reaching out to any prospect, you should have a general idea who the prospect is and what their company does. Maybe you poked around the company website, or viewed their LinkedIn page, or even typed their name into a search engine. If you have ever done one of those things, then you have engaged in the pre-call research practice of social selling.
So you have the basics, including a general overview of the company, their industry, and their size, but how do you use all this information to your advantage? With the information you have gathered, you can now engage in the first step of social selling, what I like to call The Plan, by asking yourself some simple questions:
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What is the company’s industry?
What pains and needs have similar companies in that industry experienced?
How have I helped similar companies in the past?
How would this company benefit from doing business with me?
The second part of social selling, The Action, involves applying all the information you gathered in your pre-call research to execute direct targeted social messaging to your prospect.
“I work with and speak to companies similar to yours in the automotive industry, and I’ve found that many have been experiencing fluctuating costs of raw materials. Is that something that you’ve experienced?”
These messages can be sent via email. Think of how many impersonalized and generic emails you get every day. Here’s an example: “Hello, valued customer.” Most people get dozens of emails every day, so you need to make yours stand out. Include the information you gathered in your pre-call research, make sure to address the email to the prospect by first or last name, and it does not hurt to put the company name in there as well.
3 Takeaways On The Benefits Of Social Selling
So why should you practice social selling? What are its benefits? First, it helps you build a personal connection with your prospects. By addressing prospects by first or last name, referencing their title, and telling them a little about what you already know about their company, this presents a more personal message that is likely to incite a positive response.
The second key benefit of social selling is it makes you look more credible. Sometimes you only have a 5-minute window to talk with a prospect. By engaging with them right off the bat and asking them thoughtful questions you know will get good answers, you will not only show the prospect you know your stuff, but you will in the end get some good insight for your company.
Lastly, social selling improves your inside sales communication and research skills. You become more aware of your clients and their needs, and ultimately set yourself up for success. Give social-selling a whirl, and get a better understanding of the companies you work with!