As a continuation of our Launchpad workshop, Compass hosted a joint event with sales guru Adrien Kwong from Linkedin. Kwong extolled the benefits and professional advantages of social selling and gave insider tips on how professionals can improve their techniques in the sales process.
While it may be a hot buzzword, social selling isn’t just a phase. Social selling, which means building strong relationships with potential buyers during the sales process, is now a necessary skill for anyone in the industry. Social selling often takes place on social and professional networking platforms like Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook. If used correctly, social selling can be an effective and organic way to connect with potential customers.
There are over 414 million registered members on Linkedin, the largest professional social networking service. The Social Selling Index (SSI) was created by Linkedin to rank how individuals use the platform as a social tool. The four pillars that constitute the SSI, detailed below, can be analyzed to see how effective an individual / company is.
Kwong reviewed the four pillars of social selling and detailed ways to improve the ranking of each:
- Create a professional brand: This is done by completing your Linkedin profile. Users who have a profile photo receive 7 times more profile views and 40% higher InMail response rate. Providing rich content within your profile, such as links to videos or portfolios also baits engagement.
- Find the right people: Use recommendations and view potential prospects; check who viewed you to engage with relevant people.
- Engage with insights: Stay updated with your social circle and groups by commenting and engaging. It doesn’t hurt to generate your own niche content, which can establish you as a leader in your field.
- Build strong relationships: Actually connect with your contacts as well as internally within your own organization.
Maximizing your score in the four elements of social selling can double your selling opportunities, and you can outsell others who don’t use social media to their advantage. As Kwong cites, 86% of buyers would engage with sales professionals if they provided insights or knowledge about the industry. As you wouldn’t strike up a conversation with an automotive professional about the best financial technology, you wouldn’t engage a client about new business without first doing research on possible shared interests or relevant information. A personal introduction always fares better than a cold call: some 90% of C-level executives do not respond to cold calls / cold contacts.
Despite being a newly coined term, social selling is similar to sales techniques that have always existed. Essentially, at its base, it’s a way to understand and target your audience, and being present when an opportunity is available.
If you didn’t get a chance to attend our launch event but you still want that insider knowledge on how to improve your SSI on Linkedin, check out the slides here. Connect with Compass Offices on LinkedIn here