Insights - How to use Social Selling for Lead Generation.

How to use Social Selling for Lead Generation.

by Dr. Thomas Papanikolaou on Aug 2, 2020

Social Selling is a valid way to discover, get to know, engage, and connect with other professionals using social media as the communication platform. It requires purpose, integrity, and trust that sincerely investing in building professional relationships will lead to shared opportunity materialising in the future. In this step-by-step guide, we will share with you an effective process to follow. Let's get started!

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PREPARE YOUR PROFILE

The first step before your can starting engaging in Social Selling, is to create and author your own Social Media profile(s). Your can think of your Social Media profiles as the clothes you would wear the first time you meet someone important to you. You have only one chance to make a first impression, so take time to prepare and make that impression count. When done well, your Social Media profiles attract visitors, and are more likely to get you answers in your social interactions.

Customer Segments Icon from Lean Canvas by LeanStack/Ash Maurya

IDENTIFY PURPOSE AND PROSPECTS

The second, and even more important step in Social Selling is to establish a mutually beneficial purpose for reaching out to other business professionals. Do you want to expand your network with like-minded individuals in the hope you can help each other? Or do you want to expand your network with professionals outside your current industry so that you can both expand your horizons? Do you have a particulat industry segment in mind that you could contribute to and learn from?

If you do not have a mutually beneficial purpose to build upon, your Social Selling results will be disappointing.

When you are clear on what you want to achieve, which people you want to reach out to, and how your outreach will be mutually beneficial, it is a good practice to capture a list of pre-defined criteria e.g. using a template like the customer personas canvas. This will help you search effectively.

Idea Icon from Lean Canvas by LeanStack/Ash Maurya

ENGAGE WITH INSIGHTS AND INTEGRITY

With a defined, mutually beneficial purpose, and a systematically-created list of professionals to reach out to, the third step in the Social Selling is to engage with the identified business professionals. In a Social Media context, this means reading the content they create, interacting with it with non-trivial and insightful commentary, and progressively engaging with them in meaningful discussions. In other words, you need to move from being a digital collector, to a digital conversationalist.

Problem Icon from Lean Canvas by LeanStack/Ash Maurya

BUILD TRUSTED RELATIONSHIPS

In the final stage of Social Selling, you should have a list of identified business professionals with who you share a mutually beneficial purpose. Through your conversations with them, you know what they care about and what they aspire to achieve. They know you as someone truly interested in them. Thus, were you to identify a project that meets their needs and wants, your chances of successfully selling that project are high. According to LinkedIn "Over 62% of B2B buyers respond to salespersons that connect with relevant insights and opportunities".

It should be clear by now that Social Selling is not growth-hacking professional relationships, it is not a quick-wins process. Social Selling is investing in building professional relationships, trusting that this will lead to shared opportunity materialising in the future.

IN SUMMARY

In this step-by-step guide, we shared with you an effective process on how to use Social Selling for Lead Generation. Social Selling is not about growth-hacking professional relationships, and it is definitely not a quick-wins process. Social Selling is about investing in building professional relationships, trusting that this will lead to shared opportunity materialising in the future. Experience shows that when practiced with Purpose, Integrity and Trust, Social Selling outperforms traditional selling.

Good luck!

CREDITS & REFERENCES

For the avoidance of doubt, Neos Chronos is not affiliated with and has no financial interest in any of the companies mentioned in this article. All names and trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners. Please observe the Neos Chronos Terms of Use.

  1. LinkedIn: What is Social Selling?
  2. Neos Chronos Template Library

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