Social engagement requires a different approach. Learn a few tips for connecting with your potential prospects.
- J.K. Rowling, the best-selling author of Harry Potter said, "A good first impression can work wonders," and this is true in our personal and professional lives. In sales, you have the opportunity to make several first impressions every day. But now, by incorporating social selling into your sales process, you can make them count. When it's time to reach out to a prospect and create that first impression, the first option that should be explored is an introduction from your network. This can be people that you know or are connected to, or the network of your company.
And if that's not an option, there are a few other ways to reach out over social media. Before we get into the best practices for the different ways you can reach out, it's important to remember that each way you can reach out is unique. You don't write an email the way you talk on the phone. Different social engagement methods require different tactics. So let's talk through the three most common ways that you might engage over social media. A great way to engage with a prospect on social is to like or reshare their posts or comments.
It's very common for someone to look and see who it was that liked or reshared their post. So when they see that you liked or reshared their post, they will most likely look at your profile, and if you have a customer-centric profile, this will be a great first impression for you, and for your company. This tactic and channel is best for top of mind awareness. It's possible that liking or resharing might create a response, but it probably won't most of the time.
To take your engagement to the next level, commenting can be an effective way to start an authentic dialogue. It's important to be authentic and ensure that you aren't selling your product or service, or your company. I recommend writing with an eye towards the industry as a whole. You don't want to look overly self-promotional. If you want to comment and start a conversation without coming on too strong, try some of these types of comments. Pose a thought-provoking question about the topic, such as, "That's an interesting thought, "but I'm curious if you think the same principles apply "to the oil and gas industry," or the service industry, or any industry you're in.
You could also discuss a recent article or research that provides additional insight to their questions, something like, "Forrester also recently shared a stat "about how budgets are shifting in IT. "Here's a link to the article." You can share how you or a company you worked with handled a similar situation. For example, "At my last company, "we had the retention issues "you described with millennials. "This is how we handled it." The third way to reach out directly is through InMail on LinkedIn. InMail is a part of many LinkedIn products that lets you send a message through LinkedIn to someone that you are not connected to.
While there are similarities between InMail and email, you can't treat InMail like you do email for social selling success. The best InMail senders get a greater than 30% response rate because they treat it like a hand-written note, instead of a spam cannon. For InMail success, follow these tips. Be brief, start a conversation, personalize your message, and make it about them. I remember a few years back, our CEO was coming to New York City, and I was trying to get as many CMO meetings lined up as possible to bring him to.
And there was one client that I had been having trouble getting to that level, so I sent the CMO a brief and direct InMail. The subject line was around our CEO wanting to meet them, and the InMail message highlighted how our CEO wanted to meet with them to discuss a specific industry trend impacting both of our companies. I knew this would capture their attention because the CMO had recently shared a few articles on it on LinkedIn, and within a few weeks, we all sat down together and had a successful meeting.
So whether you're liking or commenting, sending an InMail to a prospect, be thoughtful in your approach, as this first impression could make or break your potential of building a relationship. So, to practice, pull up your LinkedIn feed now, and comment on a post that you see. It doesn't matter if it's from a prospect or not, but write it using one of the three types of comments that we discussed that will help you start a conversation.
- Crafting a customer-centric profile
- Creating a professional brand that expands your reach
- Identifying your ideal prospects
- Understanding what your buyer values
- Knowing when a prospect is ready to buy
- Engaging with personalized outreach
- Asking for an introduction
- Measuring social selling success