Learn how to engage with potential buyers at the right time, with the right content and strategy.
- [Instructor] Let me tell you a quick little story. One time, I wanted to identify a thought leader in the space of charting diagramming so I could invite them to do a joint webinar with Lucidchart, which is the company I'm currently with. After doing a few Google, Twitter, and LinkedIn searches, I had found the perfect individual, but there was a slight problem. He had no idea who I was, or who Lucid software was, so I decided that I needed to engage with him in a strategic way to get his attention online, even before, or way in advance, before asking him to do a joint webinar with us. Now, you may be wondering why I did this, and the answer is, if I simply, out of the blue, asked him to do a webinar with us, he would have shot me down immediately.
After much thinking, I decided to follow him on Twitter and engage with him by retweeting and liking a few of his tweets a few times per week, for exactly two weeks. After I had done that, I went on LinkedIn and decided to connect with him on LinkedIn by customizing my LinkedIn invite, and included that I had actually enjoyed reading his tweets and content. Even better, he accepted my LinkedIn connection request right away so I had access to see his LinkedIn activity. After browsing his latest updates and shares, I saw that he had recently published his first book. After engaging with him on LinkedIn, I also decided to purchase his book on Amazon.
When I received it in the mail, I took a picture of it, posted it on Twitter, and tagged him. So long story short, when I went for the kill and asked him to see if he was interested in doing a joint webinar with Lucidchart, without hesitation he replied yes. The power of social engagement in a noncreepy way can be your greatest asset in your sales process if you only add value first. What a lot of people don't know or just simply forget is that when you engage with people on social media channels like LinkedIn or Twitter, most of the user settings are by default set to engagement notifications on their smartphones, desktop or laptops, and their personal e-mail address.
That's like three e-mails in one, or three touches for the effort of one. Imagine that. If you've done your homework and have spent your time in actively listening to your buyers' digital footprints, you're going to be armed with the necessary and required sales intelligence to help you stand out while adding value to your buyers. Let me show you a few different ways of how to approach this social engagement with social selling. A lot of times, your buyers have written articles on their LinkedIn publishing platforms. If you notice that this is the case for a few of your buyers, this is a good place to begin.
Now, find an article that you honestly understand or one where you feel you can ask a good question. Once you've identified one of their articles, you want to like it, which is notification number one. Then you'll want to obviously read it and leave a comment in the section below the article. The best comments I recommend are the ones that are actually a question to the author, who in this case is your buyer. When you ask a question about a specific part of their article, you're essentially asking your buyer to not only notice your comment, but to reply to you, which should enable you to stand out.
What most people comment is something like, "Loved your article, thanks for writing it." Which is okay, or just great. But you want to stand out by saying something like, "Loved your article, thanks for writing it. "Along the same lines of your post, "what are your B2B marketing predictions for 2017?" Go ahead and give it a try. Another social engagement strategy is to identify an article that's relevant to your buyer or their company and 1) like, 2) comment, 3) reshare their update along with tagging them. There are two different ways of doing this.
The first way is by identifying a piece of content and then sharing their article with your LinkedIn network, and finally tagging the author, should they get a notification. Let me show you how this is done. As I navigate to Scott Simpson's article called "Exploring the Amazon Echo," I mouse over the share button, I click on it, and then I select LinkedIn. It's going to automatically grab a line from the article and it's going to tag Scott Simpson. That's it, and that's all. The second way of doing this is by scrolling through your buyer's recent activity section of their LinkedIn profile and finding an article that they recently shared.
Next, you want to like, comment, or ask a question and then share it and include something along the lines of "Found via (add buyer's name)." Let me show you how this is done in Gretchen Rubin's profile. As I scroll down I go to the See All Activity section, click on it, and then I would like this comment, comment on the specific comment, or share and then tag Gretchen Rubin so she knows that I actually shared her article. These types of engagement are a more effective way of simply checking in when you're at a certain stage of a sales process.
So take advantage of it. If you stop and think about how many prospecting or internal e-mails your buyers receive daily, it's definitely more than 20+ e-mails. Having said that, this is where you can leverage InMails if you aren't connected with your buyers, or a LinkedIn message if you're connected with them. The same concept of multiple notifications and alerts apply when you send a LinkedIn message or an InMail, so use them wisely and do your best to include a 3x3 social engagement. The 3x3 social prospecting outreach strategy consists of finding three things that are relevant to your buyer in three minutes or less, and then using that to build trust.
To summarize what we've covered in this module, engaging with decision makers or influencers is all about using existing relevant content, or creating your content to engage with them all along the buyer's journey. If you're not adding value all along the way in a direct or indirect manner, you won't stand out from the crowd, and you'll be part of the noise. Your buyer will simply just ignore you. Listen to your buyer's intent on social, engage with them by adding value, and become visible by consistently sharing relevant content.
I truly hope you've enjoyed these tips, and don't forget to do your best when embedding social selling tactics into your existing traditional sales process. That's how you win and move the sales needle.
- Optimizing your buyer-centric LinkedIn profile for your buyers
- Researching, finding, and listening to your buyers
- Adding value by sharing relevant content
- Connecting with buyers online and offline
- Building relationships of trust with key decision makers
- Measuring the ROI of your social selling efforts