Chances are if you are in sales, social media is already a prominent part of your personal life. And now, thanks to social selling, it’s hopefully a big part of your professional life as well. Incorporating social media into the workplace has brought many opportunities, but also many questions, like, “What is sales etiquette on social media?”
During our social selling training sessions, I continually stress the importance of dedicating your time and energy to fully understanding your customer’s business requirements. This involves showing respect for the individual person behind each business interaction and keeping an unwavering focus on their unique needs.
Once you’ve grasped their specific concerns, you can then chart a strategic course on how your company’s offerings can most effectively provide solutions. An incredibly valuable tool for gathering this intelligence is through the usage of social media networks.
When utilizing the influence of social media to enhance the scope of your business, it is vital to bear in mind that the ultimate goal is to transform potential buyers into loyal customers, rather than just gathering followers. It’s all about building meaningful conversations, relationships and connections, not just talking for the sake of it.
You may also be wondering how to best navigate social networks with your sales prospecting goals in mind. There are many answers, including leveraging a page out of Ben Green’s playbook and utilizing his social media tips. With this in mind, here are 4 tips for salespeople on etiquette on social media to help you shape your social selling strategy and explode your sales pipeline!
1. Focus on Video for Social Media
When it comes to B2B sales, your focus should primarily be on utilizing LinkedIn, Twitter, and Social Video to conduct thorough research, establish meaningful connections, and effectively communicate with potential customers through social platforms. As you already know, LinkedIn is the home base for professional networking relationships, and it’s where you’ll gain the most insights into your prospect or company’s industry.
Additionally, it is highly recommended to keep track of your prospect on Twitter. This is because sharing thoughts and opinions through tweets is a common practice that can provide you with valuable information about the important issues that interest your potential buyers.
What about Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Threads and Snapchat? Ah, now you face the interesting quandary of “Do I engage with them there or not?”
In the beginning, reserve these communication channels for research purposes only. Refrain from friend requesting your prospect, as it may come across as rude, intrusive and a violation of boundaries.
I promise you will know when it’s the right time to ask to connect with them. You’ll feel it in your gut when your relationship is Facebook or Instagram ready. And when you do – ask to connect. For me generally, I am mid sales cycle or have closed out a deal when I asked to connect to their Facebook account.
However, you should leverage Facebook, Snapchat, Threads, TikTok or Instagram to find the Big Fish on the wall! What do I mean by that? I started in software sales 20 years ago, and in the old days we used to walk into our prospects office and the first thing we’d look for were pictures. Pictures of the big fish on the wall, kids, spouse, etc. Why? For no other reason than to take the first 10-15 min of the hour-long meeting to talk and build personal rapport and a relationship.When is the right time to connect w a #B2B #buyer on @Facebook @Instagram or...? #Sales #SocialSelling @M_3Jr Click To Tweet
Given that most times we don’t even meet with clients and prospects in their office for a sales call, leveraging Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram for personal pictures will help you find the “big fish”.
2. Maintain Your Sales Etiquette by Avoiding Clickbait
In content marketing, whether B2B marketing or B2C marketing, there’s this thing called clickbait, which is defined as “internet content, especially when related to that of a sensational or provocative nature, whose main purpose is to attract attention and draw visitors to a certain related web page.” Clickbait gives you a bad rep, mostly because, as a rule, it overpromises and under-delivers.
An ideal illustration of clickbait might look something like this: you kick off an email with the tantalizing subject line, ‘RE: Intriguing Discussion.’ Now, what’s the goal here? We’re banking on the hope that the curious prospect will open the email, under the assumption that the ‘RE:’ indicates an ongoing dialogue between you two. This technique, however, is a major faux pas in the realm of sales etiquette.”
Another example would be if you choose to engage with long blog posts on LinkedIn or anywhere else for that matter. Promising to deliver “8 things you should know about…” In the title of your article, but really not delivering 8 things. That might turn your customer off, and is a bad business practice.
- Don’t Fake the Funk!
- Don’t try to send someone a message via LinkedIn InMail or Messaging with a GREAT subject line asking for a meeting, but offering your customer no value AND not personalizing your message.
- Don’t try and do it on email, either.
What could be the results? Once upon a time, I was testing out open rates and experimenting with different subject lines for an email campaign. I made the decision to title an email “RE: (whatever my subject line was) to give the perception we were already engaged in a conversation. The result?
I ticked off a bunch of people off. Many individuals had opened the email, confused about what the original chain was even about, and, upon realizing there was no original chain, got angry with me. From a metrics standpoint, my email open rate went up, but my unsubscribe rate did too!
Lesson learned: don’t resort to cheap tricks to get people to read your content. It’s not worth it!Don’t Fake the Funk on #SocialMedia if your in #Sales! It will make #YourBrandSuck! #SocialSelling #SMM @M_3JR Click To Tweet
3. Be Clear With Your Value Proposition
Use social networks as an opportunity to challenge the status quo and provide value to prospective customers. Craft your messaging strategy in a way that showcases positivity and highlights the ways in which you can improve your prospect’s life, instead of simply requesting 15 minutes of their time. If you do your due diligence and write an informed and thoughtful outreach message, that meeting will happen.
4. Send the Right Sales Message
Receiving a cold email from salespeople, who are eager to schedule an appointment for a meeting with a potential customer, can be incredibly frustrating. Especially when the email lacks any value, seems robotic and impersonal, and completely ignores the fact that they could actually assist in solving my business issues.
Take CyberCoders, for example. The technical recruiting company has my resume on file and frequently contacts me regarding job recommendations. One would think it would be for a Sales Leadership role, right?
Wrong! I receive garbage auto-generated emails from 9 out of 10 cyber coder recruiters for positions like Project Manager! Really?
Why is this happening? It is because I listed program management within my resume’s keywords contained within the Applicant Tracking System. As a sales leader this is an important skill.
But, if the recruiters took the time to actually READ my LinkedIn profile or resume, they would quickly discover I’ve never been a Project Manager. What’s more, recruiters will aggressively follow up with me and say “Just checking in on my note” to repeatedly try and gauge my impression of what my interest level is.
This type of “spray and pray” sales approach that is not personalized makes #YourBrandSuck – TOTALLY Suck!
So, whatever you do…
Make sure to do your due diligence to avoid sending out crappy content that wastes your prospects’ time!
Other Sales Lessons to Utilize On and Off Social Media
Many times excellent salespeople also excel on social media because they have mastered the following strategies.
Your Cell Phone isn’t just for Facebook – The Art of Professional Conversations
In this era of digital communication, most of your business interactions are likely to happen over a phone call. This makes mastering the art of professional sales call crucial for salespeople.
To engage in phone calls effectively, it is important to follow certain rules and guidelines:
- Be polite and considerate.
- Make sure you have a distinct purpose for the call.
- Always conclude the conversation with a positive remark.
This also applies to social media etiquette!
Paying Attention: The Key to Understanding Your Customers
A common pitfall for many professionals is talking (or writing) too much and not spending enough time paying attention to their customer. That’s just bad business.
When speaking with a prospective client, either via video or on your phone, your main goal should be to understand the customer’s needs, problems, and desires. It’s important to actively listen and to show your customers you hear them. That alone might lead to more a more successful close rate.
A swift “No, thank you” can feel like a jarring punch to the gut. As a salesperson, it’s a part of the daily conversation grind that you face. However, a ‘no’ doesn’t have to be the end of the conversation. It could be the beginning of an insightful journey that eventually leads to an answer of a ‘yes’.
First off, it’s vital to remember that ‘no’ isn’t a rejection of YOU. Your prospect is saying ‘no’ to the offer, not to you as an individual. Separating the personal from the professional can help you view the rejection from a different, more constructive perspective.
Now, let’s delve into some tactics for transforming that dreaded ‘no’ into a potential ‘yes’:
Understand the ‘No’
Before you can turn a ‘no’ around, you need to understand why it was said in the first place. Was the timing not right? Did your prospect not see the value in your product or service? Or, was the price not right? When you understand the reasons behind the ‘no’, you can address them directly in your follow-up discussions.
Stay Positive and Courteous
Despite the rejection, maintain a positive attitude and thank the prospect for their time. Being courteous and respectful can leave the door open for future discussions. After all, the prospect’s circumstances might change, and you want to be the first person they think of when they’re ready to revisit the decision.
After a ‘no’, take the time to follow-up with a thoughtful response. Restate the benefits of your product or service, addressing the reasons for rejection where possible. Show the client that you’ve been listening and understanding their needs, and are willing to work on a solution that suits them.
Provide Additional Value
Share relevant articles, case studies, or other resources that might change their mind or at least make them think about the decision again. This not only provides value but also clearly demonstrates your commitment to their needs.
Patience and Persistence
Sometimes, it just isn’t the right time. Patience can be a virtue in sales. Follow up periodically (without being pushy), keep the conversation going, and be ready when the prospect is finally ready to move forward.
Learn and Adapt
Every ‘no’ is a learning opportunity. Analyze your approach, the conversations, and the prospect’s feedback. Use these insights to refine your sales strategy and improve your future interactions.
Turning a ‘no’ into a ‘yes’ is often about persistence, understanding, and tactful communication. And, even if the ‘yes’ doesn’t come immediately, don’t lose heart. In the world of sales, a ‘no’ today could very well be a ‘yes’ tomorrow. Keep sailing, and remember, the best salespeople are not just great talkers, but they are also excellent listeners and adaptable learners.
Leveraging Resources for Enhanced Customer Engagement
There are numerous resources available that can help you improve your strategy, whether on social media or traditional selling. The etiquette and best practices should remain the same, including making use of the resources at your fingertips!
From articles like the Vengreso Blog and webinars found on YouTube, to social selling training programs like Modern Sales Mastery and software tools like the FlyMSGauto text expander! There are so many resources for social sellers to utilize to help them to better understand their customers, improve their pitch, and ultimately close more deals.Avoid sending out crappy #Sales #content that wastes your #buyers time! #SocialSelling #modernselling @M_3Jr Click To Tweet
Bringing our journey on mastering etiquette in the digital realm to a conclusion, let’s highlight an essential truth – it’s about people first and foremost, not just about amassing followers or crafting the perfect post. Just like in a face-to-face chat, or a traditional phone call, it’s about showing respect to the person you’re interacting with and creating genuine connections.
So, embrace the transformation brought on by the digital era, but remember the foundational aspects of meaningful interaction haven’t changed. To leave a lasting impression and foster a thriving business, the spotlight should always be on the individual person behind the screen, phone, or call.
Hopefully, these social selling and media tips for your sales etiquette have given you some insights into how to navigate social media like a pro. Subscribe to the Vengreso blog now to receive helpful sales, social media and social selling tips on a regular basis.