Upon reading this series on Social Selling, you will realise that many of the rules have changed. The roles have also changed but none so much as the salesperson – cold calling and self promotion is dead. So is there still a need for a salesperson and what is the new way that a salesperson should be selling?
The role os the salesperson is still vital and they still remain key to the growth within a company, the focus however has move away from products and onto people. The salesperson is now expected to have about 20% product knowledge and 80% people skills. The people skills needed is to effectively network with people via personal interactions and on the social media networks. The difference between the two is negligible and the approach is virtually the same and the job is to build meaningful relationships.
The type of relationships to be built are with broader audiences who will know about you through your involvement with people in communities and workplaces wherever people are. The more visible you can be the more people will know about you, when this happens people will start to wonder what you do and then you have an opportunity to give them a bit of information (this is not an opportunity to sell to them). With more direct and targeted audiences (usually gained from the broader audience) you can be a little more specific. However your job as the salesperson is to recommend product specialists to the people asking for information.
Therefore you are promoting people not products, once the relevant information is given by the product specialist you still retain the relationship and ultimately the sale. This may sound alien to some but relationships are built on trust. In the above example you refer the specialist to the client to answer their question and your focus is the relationship (keeping the trust high) so that you can ultimately make the sale.
The challenge of course is that most of your client base might not be immediately ready to purchase and the salesperson will need to keep the relationship alive – this is where Social Media is so powerful and The power of sharing will keep these relationships alive and well, ensuring that your customers have you top of mind when they need to make a purchase.
In this series we look at the following aspects of Social Selling :
- What is selling?
- Who is the customer?
- What are people wanting to buy?
- Self Promotion
- The power of sharing
- Marketing and Advertising.
Please let me know what areas you would like me to cover and don’t hesitate to disagree with something I may say.