Hi everyone, it’s Tom Abbott here. Author of the SOHO Solution: 21 Selling Strategies for Growing Your Small Business and Social Selling: The Evolution of Sales.

Welcome to this free video training series for business owners and sales professionals. I’m so excited for this series to teach you how you can evolve your selling skills using social media so that you can generate leads, stand apart from competitors, and close more sales faster than ever before.

In this first video, I’m going to share with you 10 essential steps of social selling. What you must have in place, what you must know, what you must do to close the deals and earn the commissions the top business owners and sales professionals are doing using social selling.

There’s never been a better time to be in sales. In this era of social media, social selling is the evolution of sales. Buyers are always connected and constantly on social media. They’re learning more about your company and competitors. Social media has changed the buying process and, as a result, the selling process.
Did you know that 89% of purchases and 75% for B2B start with an online search? Today’s socially savvy buyers don’t even contact you, or your competitors, until 57% of the purchase process is complete. Social selling provides you with a never before seen opportunity to influence buyers to approach your business.

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What exactly is Social Selling?

Well, it’s the practice of incorporating social networks in your sales process. It’s what I call the three P’s of social selling. It’s Prospecting, Positioning, and Presenting. Social selling doesn’t replace the sales fundamentals but instead evolves them. Today, social media provides business owners and sales professionals with the opportunity to engage with customers directly without even picking up the phone. No more lists, no more cold calls, no more gatekeepers.

With LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, YouTube, Vimeo, SlideShare, Quora, Instagram, Snapchat. With all these at our disposal, you might think that social selling is the easy answer to all your selling challenges. Just post a few photo quotes and prospects will send you their money. If we post it, they will come. Not exactly.

The problem with social selling is that with so many platforms, you might be wondering what’s the most effective social media platform to use in selling. Can we even use social media to sell services to businesses that have multiple stakeholders? How exactly do I gain a following on social media and how do I generate leads?

Well, success in social selling – and traditional selling – requires a process, not luck. You may not realize that there are many things that you don’t know so your greatest challenge will be increasing your awareness, so you don’t miss out.

When I first started in social media, there were definitely things that I didn’t know that I didn’t know. I mean I never even knew what to say on social media. I dabble with so many different platforms trying to stay on top of the newest platforms.

I’ve had massive fails on Flickr and Tumblr. I got busy with busy work. I wasn’t consistent with posting status updates. I didn’t get likes. No retweets, no favorites, no comments, no engagement at all. Sometimes no one would even see my posts. No leads, no sales, no success at all on social media and I got really frustrated. I mean, to be honest, I almost gave up. I hoped it was a fad. What was so frustrating was I would see people succeeding on social media and I would be wondering, “WTF am I doing wrong?”

Fast forward to today and I’m having meaningful conversations with prospects. I’ve got decision-makers viewing my profile online. I’m getting inquiries for training and speaking and earning thousands of dollars a month more from social media than I ever would otherwise.

How many thousands of dollars are you missing out on? I’ve always been curious, and it wasn’t until I really started researching social media best practices that things started turning around for me.

I invested thousands of dollars on books, webinars, seminars, going overseas to workshops, learning everything I could about social selling. Then I took everything I learned and everything I experience through trial and error on the last 10 years, and then I took our sales training methodology that we’ve used to train multinationals for the last 10 years and I synthesized all that information into an easy framework that, quite honestly, I wish I had when I first started out on social media 10 years ago.

By following this framework, before you know it, you’ll be using social media to generate leads, to stand apart from competitors, and to close more deals faster and easier than ever before.

I’m going to share with you right now our framework. It’s the 10 Essential Steps of social selling. By incorporating these essential steps, you can experience the benefits too.

Prospect

I talked about the three P’s of social selling. The first is Prospect. Within the prospect there are a number of things you need to do. The first one is to find your audience. You need to know where your target customers are congregating on social media. Success in social selling requires discovering the top three ways of consistently reaching large numbers of your target customer.
Number two, you need to have conversations with prospects. You need to join discussions where prospects are sharing their goals and sharing their challenges. Before promoting products that you love, find out what your customers love.
Number three, generate sales leads. You need to capture email addresses from prospects and fill your sales funnel. Link back to your opt-in page by offering and delivering something of value in exchange for their contact details.
Number four, get past gatekeepers. Qualify prospects and reach decision-makers. You can use tools to identify stakeholders, to confirm their need, their budget, and decision-making authority.

Position

The second P is Position. The fifth tip is to demonstrate your expertise. Position yourself as an authority and a thought leader. Being an expert in your field would make you a more valuable resource. This will simplify and shorten the buying process.
Tip six, differentiate from competitors. Stand apart by communicating what’s important to your prospects and share your unique message. You need to share the essential elements of what your business is about. Social media helps you do that.
Seven, assess prospects’ needs. Ask the right questions to uncover their problems and identify the needs of your prospects. This will also position you as the ideal solution provider.

Present

The third P is Present. You need to deliver sales presentations. Well, you can share these through online presentations. Plan your benefits, your answers, and objections. Your answers to objections and plan your materials in advance.

Ask for the sale. This is all about making conversations go from conversation to close sales. What I encourage you to do is to focus on prospects’ dominant buying motives and make it easy for them to buy off you.

Get spin off and repeat business. You can do this by getting more recommendations and testimonials, the introductions on social media. Demonstrate to them that you’re not looking for transactional sales, you’re looking for long term relationships. That’s the key to sustainable selling on social media.

One of the most common objections that I get, or myths or criticisms, is that some people think that social media is great for marketing but not for selling. Maybe you’re wondering this too.

Let me share the simple stat with you that will just bust that myth wide open.
Sixty-four percent of sales teams who use social selling reach their quotas. That’s 64% versus only 49% who don’t adopt social media. They actually get 15% more repeat business. Keep that in mind.

Now remember, a couple of moments ago I just talked about positioning as one of the three P’s and that step 5 is about demonstrating your expertise. Well, I’ve got a challenge for you.

In the comments below, post a link to your Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter profile. I’m going to look at your profile personally and the three profiles that are most targeted to a specific audience will get free tuition to one of our upcoming programs.

I hope one day that you’ll attend one of our upcoming programs and I’m going to tell you more about how you can enroll in future videos. But for now, post a link to your profile below, as instructed, and maybe you’ll win free tuition in one of our upcoming programs. I really hope you’ll join us there.

As you finish this video, I just want to let you know how much I appreciate you taking the time to watch it and for thinking about how you can evolve your selling using social media.
Now in the next video, I’ll be sharing some specific tools that will help you generate leads, stand apart from competitors, and close sales faster using social media. I’m also going to bust some more myths about social selling.

Until then, please comment and share this video with other business owners and sales professionals who you feel could really benefit from learning about social selling and remember to evolve your selling.

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About Tom Abbott

Tom Abbott is the author of 'The SOHO Solution' and 'Social Selling'. Sales leaders engage Tom for his proven solutions to building high performance sales teams that exceed targets and for motivational keynotes that energise their audiences.

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