Updated: Aug 31, 2020
One of the biggest misconceptions in sales right now is the belief that Social Selling is an alternative or a replacement for the phone.
Let me clear this up right away...
THIS IS NOT TRUE!
Social Selling has never been, is not, and will never be a replacement for the phone.
Social Selling is simply utilizing social media to sell, which is a platform that can help you find, research, connect, message, start conversations, create opportunities, grow relationships, account manage and even close sales.
Social media is just a platform for salespeople to use, just like the phone, email, instant message, post, face to face etc.
What is very important to understand if you are trying to sell something in 2020 and beyond is that YOUR prospects and customers aren't only using the phone anymore. In fact, a percentage of them don't even like answering calls or speaking on the phone anymore.
Some of your prospects prefer to talk via email.
Some of your prospects prefer to talk via instant message.
Some of your prospects prefer to talk via video call.
Some of your prospects prefer to talk via social media.
My biggest advice to you?
Don't CHOOSE between the phone and social, USE THEM BOTH.
If you are choosing to only using one of them, even if you're using one of them MORE than the other, you'll simply be missing out on opportunities.
Let's say you spend the majority of your day making cold calls...
Think of all the potential prospects you're MISSING OUT on by not utilizing LinkedIn more?
In equal measure, let's say you spend the majority of your day using LinkedIn to sell...
Think of all of the potential prospects you're MISSING OUT on by not using the phone more?
There has been an ongoing debate over the years, one I have been dragged into many, many times. You probably know the one I mean...
The "Cold Calling Versus Social Selling" debate!
People are spending WAY too much time debating which one is better, or which one is dead, or which one is actually selling.
I want to make this as simple and clear as possible...
You NEED to use whatever platforms your PROSPECTS & CUSTOMERS are using.
If they are using a phone, try to call them.
If they are using LinkedIn, use that to engage them.
If they are using email, try and email them.
You get the idea.
Most of the people out there making claims, even some of the "experts", fall into this trap.
When they claim that something doesn't work, it's because THEY can't make it work.
I've seen some of the biggest names in sales, some of the most popular sales authors and traditional sales experts claim social selling doesn't work, and it's crystal clear that the reality is THEY simply don't know how to make it work. That's it.
I've spent YEARS making cold calls, years training cold calling and years leading sales teams that were making cold calls. I know it works, the sales teams I work with now use it successfully.
I have also spent YEARS utilizing LinkedIn to sell, leading sales teams utilizing LinkedIn to sell and years training Social Selling. I know it works, the sales teams I work with now are using it successfully.
There is NO POINT arguing over which is better.
Only one thing matters...
What do your PROSPECTS & CUSTOMERS prefer?
The reality for a lot of people selling in the B2B space is that SOME of your prospects and customers will prefer to use the phone to speak and SOME of your prospects and customers will prefer to use social media to speak.
So let's stop the fighting...
Let's stop the debates...
Let's stop claiming things don't work...
And let's start using BOTH of these amazing tools together. Because that is the key to success in sales. Spend time making calls each day and spend time utilizing LinkedIn each day.
Here are some of my TOP TIPS for using the phone and social together:
1) Connect with each and every prospect that you're calling or have called on LinkedIn. Let's say you make 100 calls in a day, you'll speak to roughly 10-15 of them. Connecting on LinkedIn might help you speak to another 10-15 of them, doubling your potential results.
2) Research your prospects before you speak to them. THIS DOESN'T TAKE LOTS OF TIME! Just 1-2 minutes having a quick read through their profile can help you significantly with your calls. It shows effort, it shows you want to help them and it saves their time from you asking questions you could have answered yourself.
3) Have a GOOD LinkedIn profile. A percentage of the prospects you call WILL go and look at your LinkedIn profile, that's a fact. Make sure that when they do, it gives them a good impression of you. Make it a customer-focused profile, not one focused on how great you are at sales but how great you are at HELPING people.
4) Use LinkedIn messages to start conversations with prospects, to create opportunities and then to arrange a call to discuss further. You would be surprised how many people will never answer your calls, but if you open the conversation via LinkedIn and arrange a call, they're happy to do so.
5) Build your personal brand by sharing valuable credible industry-relevant content consistently on LinkedIn. This way, when you then phone them, you're not just another salesperson but someone they want to speak to because you've earned a level of trust and respect.
One thing to remember...
Social Selling isn't a replacement for the phone, it's an accompaniment. Use them together and go generate some sales!
Would you like to learn how to get MORE from LinkedIn? More Leads, More Sales & More Revenue?
On Tuesday 6th October I am running the first-ever LIVE online LinkedIn Masterclass!!
This 2-hour webinar will cover everything you need to know to start generating more from LinkedIn from as little as just 15-minutes per day.
I'll be covering how you can create a lead-generating and sales-generating:
- LinkedIn Profile
- Personal Brand
- LinkedIn Content
- LinkedIn Messages
- LinkedIn Network
For more details and to secure your place, head to the event page right here.
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About the author:
Daniel is also a highly in-demand international keynote sales speaker, is the UK's leading sales blogger and is also the Founder and Owner of LinkedIn's most popular sales publication, The Daily Sales. With a global audience of over 500,000+ followers and growing by thousands each week, his content reaches millions of salespeople far and wide.
To inquire about Daniel keynoting or speaking at your company or event, or to find out more about his virtual and online LinkedIn/Social Selling training please email firstname.lastname@example.org.