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Selling is Out, Solving Problems is In

Today, customers are more informed than ever before. They no longer want to listen to your sales pitch or talk to your sales person. Instead, they do their independent product research and base decisions off of trusted blog posts, tweets, retweets, likes, and referrals from friends.

SiriusDecisions estimates that 70% of a buyer’s journey is complete before they decide to contact a sales person. Today’s customer has evolved: they no longer want to be sold; they want to understood and they want solutions. Organizations are changing to take advantage – or at least not lose out to- this new reality.

Social selling has skyrocketed in popularity over the past several years as an alternate to the traditional selling tactics. With Social selling organizations are striving to create long-term customer relationships that enable them to stop looking at clients as just another transaction. Out with “selling tactics” and in with “consultative approaches”.

Not sure how to become a social seller?

For those of you just getting started, here are three excellent tips from Radian6 to make sure you get off on the right foot.

1. Drop the Sales Lingo

It’s important to remember that you are dealing with an individual, and an individual doesn’t like to be sold to. Think about how you felt the last time you were on the receiving end a “hard” sell. “It can be intimidating to have demo, sale, buy (and every other term you might use to talk about your sales cycle) thrown at you on Twitter.” So toss out the clichéd sales terms, and focus on having a real conversation with your clients.

2. Be a two-way channel

In any relationship it’s a game of give and take. This counts double when you’re trying to become a social seller. “Answering your client’s questions before pushing your information is key to the social sales funnel.” It’s important to view these conversations as a two-way street. Move away from trying to get all you can out instead, focus on answering the questions potential clients are asking you.

3. Knowing when to “walk away”

Sometimes things just don’t work out. “Knowing when to walk away is the most important part of a social relationship. Respect your potential client’s needs and if they aren’t interested in your services, or haven’t even expressed an interest, then walk away.” Being respectful of your clients will go a lot further in the long run then pushing too hard at the beginning.

Social selling takes many different shapes. Take some time and analyze how your social strategy fits into your organization’s greater marketing strategy.

How good your company is at social selling? Complete this Aberdeen survey and they’ll send you results to let you know how you stack up.

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