Let’s get social by Mark Blezard
Social Media Selling: will it kill the sales profession?
So, it’s all about selling via social media these days, correct? Apparently, some organisations no longer have sales executives, just teams of ‘content drivers’ and ‘connectors.’
Does this mean the end of traditional sales skills? Of course not. The truth of the matter is that most organisations do both, using social media to raise brand awareness and generate leads for their sales force too.
However, here’s an interesting point that I would like to throw out. Make sure your social media crew are properly trained in the basics of consultative selling. They must fully understand the whole sales cycle of qualifying, matching, and closing, as well as objection handling and negotiation.
Why? Because any form of customer contact, of which social media marketing is one, needs to mirror that of conventional selling if you wish to maximise results. I’ll give you an example: you wouldn’t post content purely about the price of your product, would you? The same applies in direct sales. We don’t sit down and start running through your rate-card – I hope!
No. In sales, we open with loads of probing questions and, if your social marketeers understand sales, they will start to consider their first touch-point content in the same way, using engaging questions that make the audience stop and think a bit more.
Such ‘opening content’ can then be followed up with possible ‘solution content’ – again, following the traditional sales cycle.
Give it a go. Run your social media team through a ‘back to basics sales course’ and see how it changes their output. And importantly, the returns.