Opening Not Closing: The Art of Social Selling
Many marketing professionals feel that closing is more important than opening. This mindset causes salespeople to rush through the process so that they can quickly get started on the next deal. As a result, building solid relationships is impossible.
An efficient sales process is always about opening, not closing. The goal is to open and create relationships that will last, relationships built on a foundation of value and trust. Today, a growing number of sales managers are looking for ways to enhance their current selling system. However, some managers feel that by introducing social networks into the existing system, productivity will diminish because of sales reps spending too much time researching rather than making outbound calls.
The Purpose of Social Selling
To open relationships that will eventually lead to closed deals, you need to understand the purpose of social selling.
- Initial Interaction – In traditional selling, you would make a blind call to an organization. In that scenario, the goal is to navigate your way past the gatekeeper. With social selling, the approach involves identifying targeted customers while developing a strategy that will yield a favorable response.
- Make Discoveries – Traditional selling requires you to have multiple conversations with prospects, whether in person, via email, or on the phone. Regardless, you may struggle with the appropriate questions to ask, which means the customer’s problem is never determined. With social selling, you can uncover common problems by using various platforms for research, including LinkedIn. Because of this, you know the right questions to ask and can deliver powerful content at the opportune time.
- Offering Solutions – With traditional selling, solutions do not always address the prospect’s actual needs. However, social selling allows you to point out different members within your network who have experienced the same issue. As those individuals share their stories of success, you can offer potential customers a customized solution.
- Closing the Deal – Although deals are closed using the traditional approach to selling, you walk away without knowing how much trust was built between you and the customer. Because a solid relationship is built with social selling, you gain the client’s trust, which opens the door to future sales.
Remember, social selling is not about closing deals but opening new relationships. By learning the methods of social selling, you have the opportunity to make a great pitch.