The old ways of selling have changed. It used to be about calling. It used to be about samples and then trying to get meetings with people. Now it’s quite different. Now it’s about leveraging people’s social networks. It’s about engagement, which means connecting with people, and it’s about education. We need to be able to educate people about how we can help them. This is, essentially, the social sales model.
According to Ipsos Open Thinking Exchange, the average person spends two hours a day on the internet. IBM’s Global CEO Study found that CEOs believe social media utilisation for customer engagement will increase by 256% over five years to become the second-most popular way to engage customers after face-to-face communication.
How You’re Found in the Marketplace
So, How Do People Find You?
“If I know someone and I don’t know what I want.”
If this is the case with a customer, they’re going to ask the people they know. If they’re more extroverted, they will probably go to their networks. If they’re more introverted, then they will jump online and do a Google search.
The benefit of being referred in your networks means you have a good reputation. If you’ve got a good reputation, then you’ve got good positioning.
The problem with someone doing a Google search is that they don’t know you, so you will be competing against others who have experience with search engine optimisation or Google AdWords. What it also means is that you will be like toothpaste on a supermarket shelf, looking the same as everybody else. You will compete on price, and that’s a very difficult space in which to sell.
If you are well networked, then your referrals will come to the fore and that can be more effective.
“If I know someone and I know what I want, then what I’m going to do is direct contact.”
If this is the case, the customer is going to pick up the phone and call you or email you because they already know who you are. The challenge for direct contact is that you have to be front of mind.
“For someone I don’t know and I don’t know what I want.”
In that case, your job is to educate.
You have to make sure you’re putting content out there so people understand what you do and realise that they do have a particular problem. If someone has a problem, they’re not going to know unless you keep educating them. You want them read your content and think, “There, that’s exactly what I’m after.”
“I don’t know that I have a problem and I don’t know someone.”
In that case, your job is awareness.
Your job is to make sure your profile is clear about how you help people, but you also must write blog posts and articles to help people become aware of the type of work you do. They might not need your help right now, but down the track they may realise there’s a problem they need solving.
So the challenge is that we need to work on all quadrants of the Connection Matrix. Yes, those who already know you make your job easy, but remember that someone out there is trying to find you, even if they don’t know it yet.
Love to know your thoughts…
Jane Anderson works with Sales Managers, Marketing Managers, Thought Leaders, Experts and CEO’s to leverage the expertise of their talent through LinkedIn.
She is an author of “CONNECT: How to Leverage Your LinkedIn Profile for Networking, Business Growth and Lead Generation”. Her 1 day Brisbane LinkedIn For Lead Generation Workshop can be delivered in-house. You can find out more about Jane’s CONNECT book here.
To inquire about Jane speaking at your next event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org