If you’re a resident of the UK and own a TV, then you’ve no doubt seen or heard about the current series of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! – it’s apparently impossible to avoid it. The premise of the show is that celebrities (using the term loosely) are sent to the jungle and forced to do ridiculous tasks in order to win the votes from the public.
One thing that has become hugely apparent since this show started airing more than a decade ago, is that people who initially disliked certain celebrity participants, begin to like them when they find they have something in common. Whether it’s the town the celebrity was born in, their love of sports, or their opinions on particular subjects, when a person finds something they have in common with another, a bond is created. And this got us thinking? Can this be used in a selling scenario?
The science behind it all
In a study by the University of British Columbia, it was discovered that where there are incidental similarities between a buyer and seller, it is more likely a purchase would take place. For example, if two people follow the same sports team, they are more likely to feel a connection. The use of social technology can be used to discover incidental similarities, and thus create a quicker bond with the potential client.
So as quickly as that, a shortcut to success has been identified. Use social media to analyse the leads and buyers, connect with them on the relevant sites, and use the subject matter in common to create a bond. Having created this relationship, it becomes much easier to secure a sale than it would on a ‘cold’ approach such as email.
The plan of action
With 2.7 million business pages and 35% of its users accessing the site every day; LinkedIn is the go-to social network for both professionals and salespeople alike.
If you’ve confirmed that your prospects use LinkedIn (which they most likely do), then this is a prime target for building relationships and social selling. Whether it’s joining groups, discussions, polls, or even just reviewing profiles, LinkedIn is a great way to gather information on potential buyers and then use this to build a bond. Given that it’s the social network, the people you converse with on LinkedIn are more likely to be concerned about professional issues than perhaps, Facebook users.
Know the etiquette
It may be surprising to hear, but since the growth in social selling, many salespeople have gone too far and used sites like LinkedIn to ‘spam’ and pepper prospects with marketing messages. The result is that there is now an etiquette or ‘best practice’ approach which should be followed in order to generate the best results from this type of activity. These guidelines include the need to participate in discussion, a reserved use of marketing material, and the limited use of LinkedIn Mails among other things.
So, to help you get the best from social selling, we’ve created a helpful guide. To find out everything you need to know about social selling on the professionals’ network…