Rules are set for almost every endeavor, whether fashion, "don't wear white before Easter," hygiene "brush twice a day," or driving, "stay within the speed limit." Perimeters like these are generally set as guideposts to create overall successful.
Social selling has rules, too, but there's a problem. Because it's almost brand new, many sales professionals don't understand how to act and what actions are acceptable. While companies can bring about powerful results by engaging in social selling, key points must be followed for maximum benefit. Here are seven faux pas to avoid with social selling.
#1: Coming in too hot. Busting up on LinkedIn and other social sites with the "buy from me" mentality of old will have you unfriended, unfollowed, and unsuccessful, in short order. Social selling is more about engaging your prospect, letting them see who are are, and offering them value.
#2: Failing to do your research. Social networks are gold mines of information on potential customers. Take time to dive into a prospect's profile, identify points of interest, and take note of similarities you both share.
#3: Missing the chance to engage. Instead of hard selling tactics, use social media to engage with your target audience. That way, they get exposure to your branding message and begin to connect with you.
#4: Lacking a strategic focus. Make sure every post and response sets you up as an industry expert. Everyone, given a choice, would do business with a thought leader. Keep this in mind in all your social selling actions.
#5: Posting inconsistently. A steady stream of well-thought out participation is necessary for real progress. Hit-or-miss won't deliver results.
#6: Underestimating the power of content. Sharing relevant content is one of the best ways to build trust and forge relationships. Practice regularly sharing valuable content as part of your social selling strategy.
#7: Forgetting to listen. Prospects share their pain points, plans, and interests on social media, so pay attention! A sales person who finds where the prospects are talking and then keeps her ear to the ground is miles ahead of her competition.
Social selling is different from traditional selling, and it's critical to understand the requirements. By avoiding these faux pas, you can focus on making progress, and ultimately experiencing success in larger numbers of customers and stronger relationships.