SlideRocket Blog

The Future: Selling With Social Media

By John Rode on April 25, 2012

The role of sales has fundamentally changed because customers find much of the information they need to make purchase decisions on the web. To adapt, forward-thinking sales teams are employing a cadre of sales tools to engage with, and win the trust of, prospective customers.

In this webinar, Jacco van der Kooij and Dan Adams discuss this new selling paradigm and share their perspectives on key sales tools and techniques you should consider employing to help you sell more effectively.

The following is the Q&A transcript from the webinar:

Q: Is this social media strategy applicable for professional service firms – Legal, CPA, Information Technology, etc. who don’t sell product?
A: (Dan Adams) This strategy is applicable wherever it is important to gain trust and help clients. By the way…EVERYONE “sells”.

Q: I have a lot of twitter followers and LinkedIn connections, but have not spent the time mining this data to determine the right people to reach out to. Could you provide some insight?
A: (Jacco) The right people are anyone that you do business with, that you could call/e-mail. It is not how many connections you grow that is of most importance. It is how many of your business connections are you connected to on LinkedIn. In most cases that is 5-10%, you should strive to attain 20-25% within 12 months.

Q: When you reach out to a “new propsect” for the first time (however you may do that), how many touches do you try with that person before you “give up”?
A: (Dan Adams) The best approach to reaching out to a new prospect is via referral from a trusted associate. The second best approach is a connection via LinkedIn (assuming that your LinkedIn profile is professional and packed with relevant info. As we discussed on the webinar it provides context to your introduction. I would reach out to a potential client 3 times max.

Q: I didn’t catch your Tweeting solution – please clarify about consultative ??
A: (Jacco) Use of twitter as a newsletter – when you provide relevant information to your ‘network’ you will turn consultative. Relevant info is up-to-date news around challenges and solutions in your particular area. Absolutely NO personal updates.

Q: Any best practice methods for creating an impactful value proposition in an initial email to a prospect?
A: (Dan Adams) Yes: I call it the 3-R’s. Research, Reference, Request Opinion. Tell the customer you have done your RESEARCH (I’m not cold calling). I believe I know that you may be having a challenge with….We have a REFERENCES of several clients we helped solve the same challenge. I’d like to REQUEST your opinion on how we have been able to assist them and determine if we may be able to assist you.

Q: Great information, but there’s a lot here and it feels overwhelming. Where would you recommend we as an organization start? Social media, videos, training, etc?
A: (Dan Adams) I would start with the simple 4 step action plan we delivered to you today.

1. Assess you current “Social Sales Index”.
2. Develop strong messaging using the 5 step Value Proposition plan we provided.
3. Create great digital content around that messaging.
4. Train your team on a few of the Key Tools we discussed.

We are able to assist if necessary.

Q: What role does marketing play in the development of the methodology, training and support of the sales team?
A: (Dan Adams) Marketing of course plays a KEY role in all of the things we discussed today. They be intimately involved in the creation of the tools & content. They must assist with skill development and must utilize the methodology to insure the “orchestra creates beautiful music”.

Q: Inmails seem to have lost their mojo. Any suggestions as to making them more effective?
A: (Dan Adams) They will only be as powerful as you make them. The message must be sound and the context surrounding them must also convey that you are worthy of the relationship you desire.

(Jacco) I recommend that you look at LinkedIn Sales Navigator as a way to leverage more of LinkedIn. The best way to use InMail is in combination with a named reference – to provide some guidance, a) put in the subject line: Per reference of John Smith, and b) open with – Dear So-and-So, John Smith encouraged me to contact you as I recently …

Q: I work for a large corporation that does not have clearly defined rules around individual reps using social media in sales, The waters are murky. What is you experience with other large companies?
A: (Jacco) Every corporation is experiencing the same – and that favors the best sales/marketing departments. The best way to shape it is to provide guidelines for a basic setup combined with a marketing department who regularly (3-4 times per week) provides a fresh news flash that would benefit the client/prospect/partner group that can be re-tweeted.

43 Comments »

  1. George Anderson

    April 27, 2012 @ 4:10 pm

    Thanks so much – I have a lot to think about – already on the social media training round – knowing what is available is only a part of the solution – practicing “what to do” is the key to progress.That’s where I’m at right now and you have shed some very practical light on the points to become aware of and making it happen. It will take time …but what you have shared has been awesome THANKYOU

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