What is social selling and what does it deliver?

To grow, every business needs new customers. And that can be quite a challenge. Cold calling can be a way to connect with new customers. But that often takes a lot of time and it does not always produce the desired results. It has also become increasingly difficult to connect with new customers. Often a phone call ends already with the receptionist asking to send the information only to hear nothing more. Another way of selling is social selling. I don’t think it replaces the old way of selling. But it is a way to reinforce your current approach. Want to know what social selling is and in what ways you could apply it? In this article, I will give you the answer to this question from my own experience.

What is social selling?

Social selling is the process of researching, connecting and interacting with (potential) customers through social media, for example LinkedIn. This can be done by making valuable content available or responding to customer content. That way, one builds strong relationships with customers to start the sales process that way.

The main business purpose of your social media presence should be: share knowledge and connect! After all, what you give you always get back. Social media are the platforms where people meet to find jobs or develop themselves. Therefore, share content that helps each other!

To publish contributions on the platform LinkedIn that make an impact (lots of social interactions), it is important to also understand the LinkedIn algorithm. For the LinkedIn algorithm, there are three stages of great importance to posting an impactful post:

  1. Phase 1: Quality score
    • Determined by the LinkedIn editorial system > Spam, approved, rejected
  2. Phase 2: Display to a small portion of your followers
    • Monitoring the number of likes and comments
  3. Stage 3: Display to a larger portion of your followers
    • Monitoring the number of likes and comments

Personally, during conversations and research, I try to find out what information my clients need. Then, in articles like this one, I answer customer questions in order to stay in touch with customers. I also write these articles to get on the radar of new clients. By then interacting on social media, I then manage to connect with someone more often. The conversation at a first meeting is then warmer than when I approach the same new customer through cold calling.


What does social selling provide?

It is good for company brand awareness. By being heard from regularly on social media, customers will start to recognize your company at some point and thus follow you for more information in the future. You want to achieve this because the chances are very small that someone will be directly interested in your service or business. With social selling, you stay on the customer’s radar to be top-of-mind when the time comes to do business. In the long run, of course, this is good for the continuity of your business.

Applying social selling in 4 steps

Now that you know what social selling is and what it delivers, I can well imagine that you want to get started with this as well. Below I explain in 5 steps how you can use social selling to stay in touch with customers and get on the radar of new customers.

1. Decider(s).

In the past, there was often one person making a decision. These days, as a salesperson, you have to be of sound mind to convince an entire team of decision makers of your service or product. Therefore, it is important to first identify which people can be seen as belisser(s) of the company. Have you mapped this out? Then try to approach them personally to network and state why you would like to do so. Leave that sales pitch at this stage, show interest in the customer first!

2. Listening and sharing knowledge

A good salesperson knows what questions his or her customers lie awake at night over. In social selling, it is important to find out these questions and answer them. Providing answers can be done by making relevant content available. Are you operating in the business market with the company? Then in my opinion, the best way to share content is through a business page on LinkedIn. This allows you to demonstrate that you are an expert in your field and is more likely to get a customer to look into your company’s services and/or products on their own accord.

3. Interaction

In social selling, it is very important that you interact on social media. See someone in your network posting something on social media? Then take the time to respond to it substantively. This can be done through a short comment or posting a link to an article on your website that answers a customer’s question. A small effort and over time you will see that they will also make the effort to respond to your posts.

4. Telephone contact

With existing clients, my advice is to reach out occasionally to find out the extent to which they see your content as valuable. You can use this feedback in the future to improve content. Have you used social media to talk to a new customer? Then ask if you might give him or her a call for a brief introduction. You will see that the first conversation in this case will be warmer than if you have never spoken to someone before.

After reading this article, you will know what social selling is, what it can provide and how you could apply it. After reading this article, do you still have questions or know in what ways you could apply social selling within your business? If so, please feel free to contact us for a free consultation.