There’s been a disturbing trend in sales the past few years. It’s the belief by some that ‘social selling’ means if you’re regularly updating your Twitter and LinkedIn accounts and researching contacts, the deals will somehow fall out of the sky – all while treating the phone like it has cooties.
Any sales floor that sounds like a room in the middle of an SAT exam is in trouble. I met with a client at their office for a meeting a few months back to discuss their sales challenges. While we were walking to a conference room, we passed by the sales floor. I stopped and said, “hey, do you hear that?” The prospect said “no, I don’t hear anything.” I then responded by saying, “there’s your first problem.” So many companies and sales people have confused ‘social selling’ with ‘social marketing’. They’re not the same thing.
Every sales person must have 2 things in order to not get sidetracked by social media:
1. Effective time management
2. The right mindset
Effective Time Management
Block time off in your calendar to devote to social, whether it be early in the morning before hitting the phones, the evening, or even a few hours here and there over the weekend Come into work a half hour early every day. That’s 2.5 hours of focused online research that won’t cut into your talk time(side note, if you’re unwilling to add the extra time to do this in your schedule, sales isn’t for you). Researching your potential customers on online shouldn’t be done during calling hours. While this is now a part of a sales person’a job in the 21st century, it’s not your actual job.
The Right Mindset
Having the right mindset before you hit the phones each day is key. You have to believe that the phone is the ticket to higher sales. If you go in each day thinking that your prospect will come begging to buy your product because you tweeted out a picture of your salmon dinner last night, you’re sadly mistaken. Social media plays a key role in research and creating a strong personal brand that enhances credibility. But selling is all about engaging your buyer through a two-way conversation. The human voice is second to none when it comes to achieving that.
Having your own personal brand online is important because the majority of buyers research us online before deciding to engage. Put a good head shot up. Research and share content. If you can’t write, share information from other sources that your customers will find valuable. Engage and be yourself. Happy selling!