I’ve named the group of folks that believe the “social selling” tools are the only things necessary to sell effectively “the social media mafia.” They’re loud, homogenous, and they’re wrong about social media being the only method for prospecting today. The old ways are still effective, and the social media mafia’s mistake is to believe the new tools and old tools are mutually exclusive.
But the social selling crowd is right that salespeople need to use these tools, because using these tools makes salespeople marketers.
...it’s moved online. And it’s now a two-way channel. It’s real-time. The long campaigns have been replaced by shorter, more relevant and more timely campaigns. Salespeople need to be armed with the insights, ideas and value-creating messages that allow them to participate and contribute to the social sites. They need to be prepared to engage in the conversations taking place now.
There are more people and more companies competing for attention in more places. It’s much more difficult to rise above this noise and gain attention and awareness. Salespeople need to market themselves and their company to smaller, more targeted groups of their dream clients in places where their messages can be heard. And they need to be able to market to their individual prospective clients.
Salespeople create massive value for their dream clients through their buying journey. But only if the salesperson is known, and only if their buyer engages with them. That only happens if it is clear that said salesperson has the ability to help produce better results. Without the ability to market, the salesperson is unknown. I call these salespeople secret agents; they are massively valuable, but no one knows them because they stay so far under the radar.
There is no more difficult part of selling today than prospecting. When your prospective client recognizes the need to change, the salesperson needs to be already known, as well as recognized for the value they deliver. This means a salesperson needs to market value-creating ideas over time, nurturing relationships with the people within their dream client accounts. This isn’t selling. It’s marketing ideas and marketing their individual brand.
If you are in sales, know that you are now also in marketing. If you are in marketing, know that you must help arm your sales force with the ideas, skills and tools to be marketers.
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