Most of the people I talk to only see social selling as an INBOUND lead generating activity.
They see it as creating/sharing content on social media to drive inbound leads into your inbox. This is why so many people don't think that it should be social "selling" but instead social marketing.
In all fairness I have never classed inbound lead generation as a real sales activity, although in modern day selling it has become a sales activity now.
What IS a sales activity, that requires REAL salespeople, is OUTBOUND lead generation.
Where salespeople go out and create their own opportunities.
They pick up the phone and call someone.
They go to an event and approach people.
THEY start the conversation, not wait for someone to start the conversation with them.
Outbound lead generation is tough, it involves interupting people and trying to buy time with them to pitch what you're offering.
Now, what a lot of salespeople are missing out on is leveraging Social Selling to actually generate outbound sales opportunities.
Let me give you a couple of examples...
Imagine you create and share a piece of content on LinkedIn. It could be a post or it could even be an article. You get a few likes and a few comments on that post, and you sit there and wait for some leads to come in.
As I mentioned before, if a lead comes through, you've generated an inbound opportunity. Most people, quite rightly so, would class this essentially as marketing, not selling.
However, let's say you went and LOOKED at the people that had clicked like and had commented on your post.
Whilst doing that you noticed that a few of them were either prospects OR people who worked within prospective companies.
You then use that engagement as an opportunity to START a conversation with them, which you work through qualification and then turn those that pass into a sales opportunity.
That is very much OUTBOUND selling!
That in essence is NO different to making a cold call. With a cold call, you have a piece of data, perhaps a MQL (marketing qualified lead), and you call them to start a conversation and potentially create a sales opportunity.
With this, you're generating the data via your content and then starting a conversation pro-actively from the engagement.
I'll give you another example...
Let's say you build a strong LinkedIn profile, one that is fully optmized (which I believe ALL salespeople should have). This is very much the same as what a website is for a company. You drive traffic to your profile through the content, they read, learn what you do and if it's something they're interested in they get in touch with you.
Again, in principle, this is a marketing activity.
However, let's say that again you are pro-active. You are a sales hunter and you want to find and create your OWN opportunities.
You decide to use the amazing LinkedIn feature that lets you SEE who is viewing your LinkedIn profile. When you scroll through you find that a prospect, or someone within a prospective company, has viewed your profile.
Once again you use this as an opportunity to connect and start a conversation with them.
There you go, you've created another OUTBOUND social selling lead.
And this is what is happening in sales...
Social Selling isn't about creating lazy salespeople who sit behind a screen waiting for leads to come to them. Social Selling is creating smarter hunter salespeople who are leveraging it to start MORE outbound leads.
The rise in outbound social selling is happening and I'm on a mission to help salespeople all over the world learn how to truly leverage social selling to its full potential.
Another big part of effective outbound social selling is using LinkedIn messaging.
So many salespeople get this wrong and send terrible spammy sales pitch messages, which rarely generate any positive return.
This is what inspired me to write my brand new book, "The Million-Pound LinkedIn Message"
The Million-Pound LinkedIn Message shares the story of how a well crafted LinkedIn message opened the door to a sale worth over £1,000,000. I've packed this book with as many LinkedIn & Social Selling tips as possible and it comes with 25 tried, tested and proven LinkedIn message templates for you to use!
This book unlocks simple but powerful strategies for winning on LinkedIn. Whether you are a seasoned LinkedIn pro or a green, LinkedIn newbie, this book is for you. My favourites were the 25 message templates which are jam-packed with instructions for when and how to use them.
Dan Disney is the real deal; he has real followers, real successes, and is the number one influencer on LinkedIn. That stands him out from the LinkedIn crowd as the go-to expert. If you’re going to listen to one person on the subject of LinkedIn, make it him.
Better still, buy this book, read it on the plane/train/automobile (he has packed it with content not waffle), and start applying it the moment you land.
Gavin Ingham, founder of #IAM10 & author of ‘Be More, Do More, Sell More’
You can order it on paperback or on Kindle through Amazon right here
I hope you found this blog helpful and informative! If you enjoyed this post please do click LIKE and click SHARE to share it with your network, thank you.
About the author:
Daniel Disney is one of the world's leading Sales, Social Selling and LinkedIn experts. With over 15 years sales experience, Daniel has mastered how to use social media to generate exceptional results, both in social engagement and in revenue generated. His brand new Online Social Selling Masterclass Course is helping salespeople all over the world generate MORE sales with LinkedIn and Social Selling.
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 an audience of over 450,000+ 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 1-day and online LinkedIn/Social Selling Masterclass please email firstname.lastname@example.org.