“Go engage with your prospects in social media” is said to many sales professionals.
But, what exactly does it mean and how does it help towards booking meetings and creating new opportunities?
That is a great question. I was asked this question by a sales leader who said it seems valuable but wasn’t sure exactly how it helps. So, I am writing this article on it.
Social engagement is beneficial in helping anyone move from being an unknown, and therefore cold contact, to a warm and known contact. This is the same goal for cold email cadences and cold calls. The goal is to introduce the prospect to the sales professional and their product.
The challenge is that email and cold calling is intrusive. It is an action that forces an unsolicited message to the prospect and forces the prospect to do something with it. They are forced to delete the voicemail or delete unsolicited emails. This is why technology like caller ID and Spam folders were created.
Prospects get tired of receiving unsolicited messages that interrupt their day.
But, there is a better way. It is social media. But, most likely what I am referring to is not social selling as most people consider it.
Social selling is not sending a cold connection request. Then, if that request is accepted following up with a cold message pitching a product or service. That is not unaffectionately referred to as a “Pitchslap.”
Using the social direct messages that go into a prospects inbox is just using social messages as a new channel for sending unsolicited messages. It is another interruption that forces prospects to take their valuable time to handle the message.
Most often, the action they take is to delete the message and go on with the rest of their day. Albeit a bit more annoyed.
This process actually is counter-productive. Interrupting and using a social message channel to send an unsolicited message is intrusive. Just look at the data on how effective these messages are for sellers. They are not good!
What is social engagement and how can a social engagement cadence benefit sales professionals?
Let’s get back to the goal of cold outreach. The goal is to get acquainted with your prospect in order to earn the opportunity to have a conversation. Using social media with a networking mindset leads to more engagement and a more effective strategy.
Before we get too far let’s address the biggest objection that you may be thinking right now. “My clients don’t publish posts.” This is a fair question. But, are they actively logging in to LinkedIn or other social media networks and liking posts and commenting on them? If they are, any sales professional has a big opportunity to meet prospects in a much more productive and valuable way.
Social engaging is commenting and liking on posts that prospects have either published themselves or they have already commented on someone else’s post. Social engaging is an opportunity to introduce yourself to a prospect in a non-salesy, non intrusive manner.
When a sales professional comments on a post that a prospect has either commented on or has previously liked, the prospect usually gets a LinkedIn notification that the sales professional has also commented on the post. This is a key tool LinkedIn uses to keep users coming back.
LinkedIn wants users using their service. They want users spending more and more time in the platform because that provides LinkedIn the opportunity to display more ads. When anyone uses social engagement as a method, they also get the full power of the LinkedIn algorithm working for them.
A notification is a great tool to for getting your name, picture and even your headline in front of your prospects in a non intrusive, positive way. It demonstrates to your prospect that you are active in their network and share comments with not just them, but also their existing network.
When social engagement is done consistently, prospects develop a perspective or attitude towards sales professionals that is different from competitors who keep trying to knock on their door and demand time. Prospects view individuals who engage as part of their network. When a sales professional adds insights, thoughtful comments and can add to existing conversations through comments, they get viewed as subject-matter experts.
Read any report from Gartner, Salesforce or any analyst and we quickly learn that buyers only want to speak with people who they believe can add value to their research and make the best decision.
Sales has always been about who a sales person knows and social engagement is the best modern way to massively expand their network. But, it has to be done the right way or all social activity can actually backfire, like unwanted emails and unsolicited calls.
A proven social cadence is engaging with a prospect through social comments at least 6 times before sending a connection request. Our data shows a typical sales professional will get 40% more accepted connection requests from this method.
Want to see how we help sales professionals manage social engagement cadences? Get a free trial of our Prospector tool featuring our Magic Writer solution. With Magic Writer, users simply read an article, answer a few questions and Viola, a professional insights post is ready to publish.
My next article, I will share about professional insights posts and why they are more valuable than any other social post.