Jill Konrath

 

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[Video] Does Social Selling Really Work?

  
  
  

If you're new to social selling, you're probably wondering if it's worth doing. After all, it takes time to build your online brand, search for info about prospects, connect with new people and especially, share your insights.

Let me give you an example of how different social selling is from our traditional approach. Thomas von Ahn of Viral Solutions recently shared with me that 58% of his company's revenue comes directly from LinkedIn initial contacts.

What's he doing? First off, he's got his bases covered with a decent profile. And, he's not one bit like those pushy, self-promotional people who are looking for quick hit. Instead, he's a go-giver, in it for the long haul because it's the right thing to do.

Tom has joined numerous groups that are frequented by his targeted customer. He participates in lots of group discussions. He even asks good probing questions to start his own discussions.

Tom regularly gives free advice -- without expecting it to immediately turn into business. He offers free e-books and free white papers. He shares good resources that can help solve problems his company can't. And, he even wishes people happy birthday.

Tom has identified the people he'd like to work with. And, he's open to finding new prospects as they emerge. To keep track of things, he logs conversations, tracks their needs and documents what they do, personal interests, etc.

Finally, his company uses a marketing automation system for follow-up purposes. As Tom says, "The social automation and personal attention allows us to reach more needs and solve more problems with fewer bodies and a higher ROI."

Examples of Social SellingSocial selling isn't rocket science. It's just the savvy use of social media to connect with people, showcase your expertise and create fresh opportunities.





Jill KonrathJill Konrath is an internationally recognized sales strategist. As author of two bestselling books, SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies, she's a frequent speaker at sales meetings and conferences. For more fresh ideas, download her free Prospecting Toolkit.


Comments

Question Jill.. I think the reason people are put off with social selling is that it is a misnomer. Social does not sell... people sell. What social does though is allow you to bring them into your universe. I think if we referred to the activity more accurately there would not be such a push back. What do you think?
Posted @ Thursday, February 14, 2013 7:12 AM by trish bertuzzi
I agree with Trish. I have started using the term Social Networking. The ABCs of Social Networking = Always Be Connecting!!
Posted @ Thursday, February 14, 2013 9:48 AM by Jill Rowley
I actually trademarked "Social Prospecting".
Posted @ Thursday, February 14, 2013 10:07 AM by trish bertuzzi
Great points by Jill and Trish about the wording and terminology abut Social Selling. While terminology may get in the way of using social tools some of the big challenges include: 
1) it takes a lot of work and discipline  
2) building an on-line brand takes patience  
3) many sales reps don't know how to do it  
4)it takes courage to develop an brand
Posted @ Thursday, February 14, 2013 1:28 PM by Doug Schmidt
We don't get hung up on terminology but we do agree that it is a more work than most are willing to commit. But isn't that exactly what has separated the top 20% of sales people at every crossing? As for using social media for a sales too, we look at it no differently than our parents socializing at the country club for dinner - always talking shop - always socializing and always giving value first. Never forget the word "social" in social selling, social media, etc.
Posted @ Thursday, February 14, 2013 3:51 PM by Thomas von Ahn
Jill, 
 
It looks to me like von Ahn’s social selling expertise is closely related to the automation product that Viral Solutions sells. This is consist with the trend I see of social media being most relevant towards selling products and services that are closely tied in to social media itself, such as blogging consultants, LinkedIn coaches, etc. 
 
Perhaps Mr. von Ahn can share some stories about successful social selling, especially B2B, for products and services that are not themselves related to social selling. I am especially interested in how his clients transition from very public relationships that are visible on social media to more private conversations leading to substantive sales. 
 
Thanks, 
Diana 
Posted @ Friday, February 15, 2013 8:56 PM by Diana Schneidman
Thanks for the posting Diana, 
 
Although we advise and coach our clients on how to sell in the social arena, most of our clients themselves offer a wide and varied array of products and services. Most of them we introduce the concept of social selling to. 
We do use and offer an automation platform. It is an exceptional tool in a business person’s arsenal, but it is only a tool. As is LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. Success comes from using a combination of all of them. Social selling allows you to show your expertise, give value first, and position yourself as an industry or topic expert. Language, tone, presentation, spelling - all come into play when posting or commenting. Each posting, each comment is, in fact, a brief resume. 
 
In regards to our clients, they are no secret. They have publicly posted their thoughts on us, and are easy to find. They span a diverse sector of industries, but none are exclusively internet based, nor rely on social selling as their only form of reaching a client. You will see they range from authors, writers, coaches, business coaches, consultants, non-profits – and more. Our relationships are exclusively B2B. Our clients, however offer B2B and B2C. They have one thing in common, and that is the willingness to adapt in this ever-changing marketing landscape we find ourselves in. That is what we bring to the table, and that is how our clients find us.  
Thanks again to Jill for showcasing us!  
Posted @ Sunday, February 17, 2013 8:47 AM by Christine Kelly, CEO
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