There are 3 stages that sellers need to go through in order to use the tools of social networks to their fullest. It doesn’t matter if you are starting out, or are already on the path – social media networks are vital in sales today:
- Begin with a Profile
- Leverage your Presence
- Work as a Hub
Begin with a Profile
There are countless people who build a profile and then let it sit… this passive approach won’t work. Just like your phone doesn’t ring, you won’t get much out of building a profile and leaving it alone. A few thoughts on profile building:
- Use a good picture - pics are standard now, and not having one reads as absence – especially in sales.
- Be in the Right Networks - Consider your use of Linkedin (no brainer), Facebook, Twitter… you need to be where your market already is. Do some searching around to find your spot(s).
- Be Active – Update, post, use, build and change your profile; make yourself visible and interesting (and professional).
- Keep it 1st Person – Avoid the 3rd person narrative of “Carson is a dedicated…”, Use ‘I’ and ‘my’.
Leverage Your Presence
Now that you have a profile, you need to actively build out your network. As I have said before, with Sales2.0, there is no prospecting – it is simply networking:
- Search for and connect with all your customers on social media platforms
- Search for and connect with your top prospects
- Business Development: Seek new contacts by profile searching for your ideal contact, reach out with a simple message – not a pitch
- Join appropriate groups to expand your network and connect with target industry professionals
- Use RSS feeds to share information with your network
Work as a Hub
Once you have been actively operating on social media platforms, the next level is to operate as a hub or central node of your network. What it means to be a “hub” depends on your business and your role as a seller within it.
- For a sales force rep- operating as a hub is more of a central network node – someone who is well connected, someone with information to share and is considered a source or a conduit.
- For a business owner or solo entrepreneur – working as a hub means to build a core – like a blog, or a group or a specific network, a virtual place or destination for people when they are online to access what you know and share what they have.
These are the 3 main concepts behind sales and social networking – which level are you currently operating from?