Right, so you have selected your channel and created your content, you have been sharing it and commenting on others posts as well, you have sharpened up your image and tidied up your profile, now it is time to reach out and start those all-important conversations with your potential leads.
Targeting your Ideal Leads
This process is best begun by drawing up a list of your ideal leads. If you had to have a dream lead, who would they be? For example, they may be the CEO of a medium to a large locally-based technology company.
Great, now you can start filtering and looking for them, LinkedIn makes this so easy in the search function, and you can send them connection requests and then start the conversation with them in due course.
It does always help to have mutual connections, or possibly you went to the same school or university, or share mutual interests, those are great ways to gain credibility and have a bigger chance of them accepting your connection request.
How to Social Sell without being a ‘Creep’?
If maybe you are worried that you may make prospects uncomfortable when you contact them, here are a few tips to keep in mind…
* Buyers are less likely to find social selling weird if they share some mutual connections with you.
* Customised messages come across as more genuine and less creepy than an automated generic message.
* Buyers think social selling on Facebook is creepier than social selling on any other network (I always recommend LinkedIn for the business professional).
* Remember that potential clients will not mind hearing from you if you can provide them with insight that will help their business.
Do not just say ‘Hi’…
One of my pet peeves has to be those people that message you, on whatever platform it may be and just say ‘Hi’ or ‘Hello’ and then wait for you to respond. Please do not be that person, ever.
Think of it as phoning someone, saying ‘Hi’ and then putting them on hold. It is a bit awkward really. I mention this point, as it happens to me frequently, and to be honest I find it really distracting.
Everyone has busy schedules and technically this is a waste of that person’s precious time – I just had to mention this as we are talking about starting and creating conversations.
Construct Your Message
Take the time to construct the message that you wish to send. Research the person's profile, research the company and what they do, what they specialise in. Really and truly think how you can assist them with something that they may need.
As I have mentioned above generic messages are a big turn off, so turn off the automated messaging feature and type up an authentic message that uses the person’s name and demonstrates that you are interested in them and their business.
Thank them for connecting and either share some information that they may like to know or comment on the similarities that you share. You can also send them a link to one of the articles you have written if appropriate. Mention that you thought this may interest them.
Or you can be more direct and say that you would like to give them a call to chat through X, Y and Z – and when would suit them to do that.
The idea is to create ‘virtual rapport’ with the potential lead, before diving straight in to sharing your products and telling them how you can assist them.
Thank Them Afterwards
As I mentioned earlier, time is precious, so the fact that someone took the time to take your call or have the Zoom meeting with you is great. Do make sure to thank them, and also clarify what the next steps are if there are any.
An example would be ‘Thanks for your time on the call, it was great to learn what you’re doing – hopefully, we can support you/work with you. As promised, I will get the price lists and also the testimonials through to you shortly. I look forward to chatting again soon.’
This can become an informal communication channel during and after sales that is especially useful and shows that you also really appreciate the time that they took to meet/chat with you.
Starting the conversation can be nerve-wracking, especially if you have never met the person before, but with the correctly constructed plan and taking the time to craft your message to match their needs, it will be much easier to get your foot in the door, and inevitably getting face time with your prospective lead.
Every Wednesday at 5 pm I will be hosting a [email protected] where we continue the social selling conversation. For inspiration and motivation follow me @shelleywaltersinc on Instagram and finally for B2B social selling conversations follow me on LinkedIn @Shelley_Walters
We would like to acknowledge Sean Roberts from Ensono for his contributions and insights into the creation of this series.