“Social selling” – a term that is on everyone’s lips at the moment.
You’ve never heard of it yourself? I can’t believe that: After all, it is you as a salesperson who should feel the changes that go hand in hand with this term…
But first very slowly from the beginning: What is that anyway?
SALES HAVE ALWAYS BEEN SOCIAL
When you translate the English buzzword, we speak of “social sales(s)”.
“Social selling? What’s so new about it?” you might be thinking now. It is not without reason that you are perhaps a little skeptical about this term – because the heart of every sale is precisely its social component. And social selling has made products trend as the hanging egg chair has become a hot selling product.
Every day, this is proven by very mundane situations in our everyday lives:
Only recently I complained that my hair becomes brittle very quickly every year in summer due to the sun and outdoor pool. In the process, my best friend, whom I have always admired for her full, shiny mane, recommended the hair treatment of a certain brand (“The price is worth it!”).
I was already 90% sure that I would decide to buy this particular product. The reason for this is simple: I just know that my girlfriend does not want to “sell me something”, but rather I trust in her honest friendly recommendation.
However, since I can not let 30, – Euro for a hair treatment wander over the counter every day, I can also tell you with 100 percent certainty that I will inform myself in advance again more precisely about the product.
And not only when sniffing the bottle in the drugstore – but above all on the Internet.
Where is the best place to find additional information about my girlfriend’s recommendation?
I can think of several ways to do this: via the Facebook page of the cosmetics company, via the hashtag search on Instagram to find out the opinions of other consumers and beauty bloggers, etc.
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THERE IS NO WAY AROUND SOCIAL MEDIA
Whether you identify with my “hair problem” or not – I want to make it clear with my example:
We all no longer only use social relationships offline for our purchasing decisions – but now also (to an increasing extent) online!
The extent to which social networks are integrated into our living environment is made clear by the following figures from a survey conducted by Tomorrow Focus Media in February this year:
A full 51.1% of Germans can be found several times a day on digital social network sites and another 23.1% once a day.
What does this mean for you as a salesperson? Your future customers are also very likely to stay on the net every day and participate more or less active in social network events. They will express needs, desires, and fears – be it directly or indirectly.
An incredible opportunity for you: Without much effort, you are closer to your potential customer than was ever possible through classic sales!
SOCIAL SELLING VS. SOCIAL MARKETING
And here the circle closes: “Social selling” simply means that companies use social networks for the customer relationship or their initiation.
The integration of social networks into everyday working life is so promising because you as a salesperson can and may behave like your best friend: First and foremost, not to want to sell me anything, but rather to support me as an advisory expert in case of problems.
This latter aspect is also the crux of the matter: this term is often confused with the face-to-face sales pitch on an online level.
However, this is not at all the case: Social selling is not about direct sales, but about the “preparatory work”, so to speak, which consists of honest interest in your potential customer.
You don’t want to have a one-to-many conversation like in “social marketing” and just sell your product.
No, because firstly you are responsible for sales and not marketing and secondly you want to meet potential customers personally “on you and you”.
It is therefore a matter of finding potential customers by participating and following up on events on the social web. To address them in a further step in a pleasant, i.e. unobtrusive way, and to create an intensive, honest customer relationship.