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Is Social Selling Real? Seriously.

Posted on Sep 11, 2013 by in Sales and Marketing | 0 comments

I know it gets old me saying this, but man, I get to hang out with some really smart people.  Last night I’m sitting around with a group of venture investors who have created $2.6 Billion in shareholder value and created 6,000 jobs around the globe and three world-class entrepreneurs.  The topic – well besides how many bottles of wine to take to the dinner – was how to use “social media” to drive lead generation (demand).  Basically, is social selling real?

B2B_SocialMedia_Insideview

Do you want the answer?  Go ahead, just ask.  Yes.  My head hurt this morning.  Ha.

Back to the question at hand, is social selling real?  We didn’t fully answer it last night, besides to all agree that social media is real, everyone is using it, you can create conversations that are engaging, but, it requires unique content (like my blog).  So that got me thinking, how do you scale personality, how do you scale unique, how do you scale real, or as my friends at InsightPool would say, how do you scale sincerity?

As usual, I started reading.  I found this really great article from a LinkedIN executive:

– Social media has long been the darling of B2C marketers, as it lends itself to quick, on-the-spot interactions with potential buyers.

– While the B2B sales cycle is longer and more complex, there are many opportunities to use social media to generate and nurture leads and close more deals.

– “How far along do you consider your organization with regards to social selling?” Almost half (49%) answered “We’ve done some social selling but have no strategy/tools.”

– “I think that most companies are beginning to understand that social media and social selling have a place within the marketing they’re supposed to be doing,”

– “They know it’s effective, they just don’t know what that strategy is and what tools they should be putting in place.”

In summary, the article confirmed our dinner conversation, minus the wine.  Yes, of course, social selling is real, but, what are the appropriate strategies and tools?  That is the hard part.  Here is what I have learned from my own personal assault on building a social audience, engaging them, and yes selling socially.  See you are reading my blog and I am sending Jedi Mind (the force) messages to you saying, “Allen is great, buy from him, refer him, say good things”.  Can you feel it?  I am focused on the basics as it relates to social selling: first, go to where your target audience is (for me, LinkedIN, Twitter), second, add value, I try to share candidly my thoughts and lessons learned (by the way, it is working), and lastly, be consistent.  I am convinced that if I fish were the fish are, add value to my target audience, and do both consistently, I will sell socially.  What are you doing?  What tools are you using?  Do you drink wine?

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