If you are building your sales pipeline for your business or venture, you know by now that it is hardly a piece of cake (I wonder how that phrase is going to optimize on the search engines.) It takes constant work to identify and develop potential customers, while establishing your subject-matter expertise in specific areas of industry.
Even mature businesses can never sit back and relax and ease off on their sales, marketing, and engineering efforts. Once you are “there”, you need to stay “there”. Even when your company has moved beyond the early-adopters and tryers, and has gained mass market attraction. It’s still a matter of leveraging all the tools in your toolbox to maintain your toehold if not stronghold.
In this digital and global marketplace, there is constant feedback being provided about you, your competitors, and your customers. Thumbs up or thumbs down on satisfaction, experience, and performance can be spewed across social platforms in a matter of minutes.
Is your company poised not only to move that fast, but be proactive in setting a social selling strategy for your venture?
While many of you concentrate on creating social media relationships that focus on what you and your company are doing in the present moment ( which sound like: “I’m here now,” “Look at what we are doing today,” “Here is how someone has used our product/service/platform, how about you?”) , setting up a social media calendar may not be part of your current game plan. It needs to be.
You create a business plan for your business or startup. You also need to create a social media plan. These aren’t two separate plans, by the way. They overlap quite a bit. Both are instrumental in creating revenue generation.
Have you ever thought about social media in that manner? Social media, when planned strategically, becomes social selling.
It’s difficult enough doing your homework in prospecting potential customers, researching the trends and habits in your industry and marketplace, and actively engaging both in dialogue. Now I am asking you to layer on development and implementation of a social media selling presence on top of these more traditional business-building activities.
Business-building isn’t easy, is it?
Hopefully, you are currently implementing a targeted business development approach based on a realistic and feasible business model. No Ready-Fire-Aim stuff.
The same holds true for developing a social selling strategy. Where do your target markets “hang out” on the internet? Perhaps they congregate in LinkedIn discussion groups. Then that social media platform, and those types of discussion platforms specific to your business or startup, become the first focus for you.
Engage, ask questions, discuss offline as you develop a relationship with those folks who appear to have a complementary or thought-provoking perspective. Move forward into business development mode if buying signals indicate it is time to do so. Once you are comfortable with your first social selling target, expand into another social media platform.
Regardless of what your first social selling platform is, make sure you have a completed professional profile for you and your business or startup. Your social selling strategy must be consistent with the statements you make within your LinkedIn profile, your website and blog site, if you have one.
Consistency and strategy in messaging across social media platforms results in audience- and business-building for your company, over time. Once achieved on one social media platform, monitor trends, research audiences, and expand onto your next social platform.
When done with persistence, diligence, intelligence, common sense and commitment, your social selling strategy won’t take that much time. It‘s impact is additive to your other sales, marketing and business development initiatives.
How does your business model and sales strategy incorporate social selling?
Babette N. Ten Haken, Founder & President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers, LLC, catalyzes revenue-producing business transition, startup growth and professional development.