Have you heard the term "social selling" yet? If not, brace yourself. It's the way of the future.
So what is it? Basically, it starts with social media -- which is simply user-created content. Your LinkedIn profile is a great example. So are your status updates and the group conversations you have. It also includes other user-created content like Twitter, blogs, YouTube and Facebook.
Social selling is about what you do with this content. And sellers who've embraced social media are creating new opportunities that totally bypass traditional sales channels.
In essence, social selling is about these 4 things:
- Building a strong online brand. Your digital image needs to highlight your experience and position you as a credible resource.
- Gathering sales intelligence. It's about researching this user-created content to learn more about the people and companies you're meeting with.
- Making connections. Social media gives you so many ways to initiate conversations, develop new relationships and connect with like-minded people.
- Sharing good stuff. You're expected to share your ideas, insights, information and resources with the community too. That's what good social sellers do.
In short, it's about good selling -- using all the tools that are available to you today. If you're still a dabbler at these things, please consider this a kick in the butt. If you don't change, it's going to be harder and harder to be successful. Yes, it takes time to learn how to do this. You're out of your comfort zone. But that's what being successful is all about.