Times Have Changed – Lead Generation is NOT COLD CALLING
Today’s modern buyers are sophisticated and self-educating. In the digital era in order for sales to be effective, they must be active in the online communities where their customers are spending time. This means having a presence in social networks like LinkedIn, where the buyers are talking about and asking questions that sales professionals can be involved in.
I’m not saying that sales people need to be active in these social networks for the sole purpose of pitching their products or services. Social selling in its purest form is based around the ability for sale professionals to connect and engage with these decision makers.
Avoid The Sales Pitch – It’s All About Personal Branding & Relationships
When you interact on social networks, don’t be “sales-y.” Your job as a social seller is to build relationships by offering advice and expertise, not information about your company’s solutions and services. Building trust will pay off in the end. For example, if you notice a discussion on LinkedIn that’s relevant to your brand and industry, share your advice without any pitch or product mentions. Your participation demonstrates your interest in being connected, staying current and making your mark where the newcomers to your industry will be.
To become a trusted advisor, salespeople should post about four times as much educational materials as product or company information. Keto Sexton
Social selling pioneers have quickly realized how important it was to build a professional identity on social media. Think about it….Your prospects will be looking for people who have answers and they’ll be doing online searches to find solutions related to your product, and they’ll want to know something about you before they get in touch. If they don’t think you’re reputable or knowledgeable, that hurts your chances of creating a relationship, and the worst thing of all is if they can’t find you at all online. In that case, you’re out of the game completely.
How Social Changed the Cold Call
Many social selling experts say one of the biggest advantages of social media is that it has turned the cold call into “the warm call.” The ability to transform a cold call into a warm introduction/lead perfectly encapsulates the value of social for sales teams. Not only is cold calling an arduous and psychologically draining activity for many salespeople, it’s not nearly as effective as a socially informed approach.
According to a LinkedIn study, cold calls were ranked as the least effective way to gain the attention of B2B buyers. In fact, only 4% of B2B buyers said they would have a favorable impression of a salesperson who reached out cold. Meanwhile 87% of B2B buyers said they would have a favorable impression of a salesperson who was introduced to them through someone in their professional network.
We have to know that the key to closing more deals is not necessarily generating more leads, it’s generating the right leads. One of the best ways to build a robust sales pipeline is to generate those leads using LinkedIn. Although many people think LinkedIn is just a place to post your résumé or hunt for a job, it actually represents a way you can strategically build pipeline and nurture relationships.
Tracey is the Founder of Thrive Ad Agency and the creator of the LinkedAutomation™ Method. She and her team are social selling masters, working with leaders to build a systematic method for generating business, developing qualified relationships and growing revenue. We help businesses thrive one lead at a time.