Learn how to listen to your accounts and the buyers and decision makers they have identified.
- [Instructor] Out of all the stages of the social selling process, social listening is the most crucial one. To give you some perspective, the entire strategy will depend on how much time you can effectively spend and dedicate to learning and listening on each specific account and its key decision makers. Now, this might test your patience, but I promise it'll be worth it. According to a survey by ITSMA, 50% of the customers are more likely to purchase from vendor when they personalized their sales and marketing materials to a customer's specific business problems they can be facing.
Copying and pasting generic messages and just changing the first and last sentence are just not going to make it anymore and I'm sure you know exactly what I'm talking about. In this module, I'll first cover a few different ways of how and where you can gather account insights and then we'll take a deep dive into buyer insights. A good place to start on account insights, specifically, is by navigating to the account's LinkedIn company page. If you think about it, most companies these days have hired a social media person or a team to manage the presence and reputation of the company. The goal of these social media teams is to post engaging, diversified content about the company and other relevant industry content.
The funny thing is that I would say 80% of these social media teams just post content about themselves or their company 24/7. The way I see it, their weakness can become their strength for account insights. The content they share on their LinkedIn company page can include press releases, awards, blog posts, new initiatives, and earned media that feature the account. These rich media content assets can provide you with valuable information that can be used for studying the account and then include that in your outreach messaging to build trust. Now as a rule of thumb, every account that you target, I recommend that you simply follow.
If you do so, you'll soon begin seeing their status updates on your LinkedIn newsfeed. Another way to identify account insights is by leveraging your targeted account's Twitter handle. I keep saying this, and Twitter is an untapped source of sales intelligence that can be leveraged to find similar information that you find in account's LinkedIn company page. One of the cool things about Twitter is that the account you're targeting can retweet other people's content and knowing which other companies, or influential people, that targeted company engages with is huge and can give you valuable information. Last, but not least, LinkedIn sales navigator also has a robust way of gathering account insights which I'm confident you'll find very useful.
On the buyer insight's side, my good friend, Steve Richards, CRO at Excite Vision, came up with the sales insight strategy called 3x3, and I've added a social component to it. The 3x3 social strategy is all about finding three things about your buyer in three minutes or less. And those three things can be about the buyer's personal life, company and industry. In my opinion, LinkedIn by far has the most comprehensive information needed to complete a basic 3x3 social for your buyers. And if you were include that 3x3 social info when messaging or engaging with your buyer, you'll definitely stand out from the crowd and your prospecting messages are actually going to resonate with your buyer.
The amount of information you can find by simply listening to your buyer's LinkedIn profile is really impressive. There are two ways to do this: number one is by simply going to their LinkedIn profile and digesting everything that there is to know about them. As you scroll through their profile, you'll want to pay close attention and read which articles they may have written through the LinkedIn publishing platform. Understanding the topics they like to write about, or their interests, or their writing tone of voice is truly going to help you understand who they are, their paying point and what issues the organization may be facing.
Now pay close attention to what they've included in their summaries section and their rich media types that they've uploaded or attached to their summary. If there's a YouTube video or article, I highly recommend watching or reading the whole thing and even taking a deeper dive as to go into its content's original source to truly comprehend more about that person or company. For example, if I'm targeting Joshua Mitchell's profile, then I would go and scroll down, until I find a rich media type. I might have to expand some of his experience sections. Once I find one, these are the ones I'm referring to.
Sometimes it could articles, slide shares, or YouTube videos. Also, you might want to leverage the skills they listed so that way you can find common ground in your Outreach message. Read the recommendations they have given or the ones they've received. Analyze the mutual connections that both of you have and see if there's somebody who might give you a warm intro. Last, observe the influencers's news and companies they like to follow. People tend to follow things they like and this information can really help you understand a lot of things that you wouldn't have known otherwise. Next, there's a section in everybody's LinkedIn profile called, view recent activity.
This section is money and gold for finding super valuable information about your buyer. What this section displays is any recent activity, engagement, interaction that a specific person has been preforming lately in LinkedIn. As an example, if I'm looking at Gretchen Rubin as my targeted buyer, I would go to her LinkedIn profile, scroll down a little bit, and then you would see Gretchen's posts and activity. If you click on any of these, it's going to expound and give all the information you need to know about what she's been up to lately on LinkedIn. This can also include a LinkedIn like from an article or update they've read, or a comment they left, or a reshare from an article they enjoyed.
Now keep in mind that sometimes you won't be able to see this information from an individual if A, you aren't connected to them or B, they have changed their profile's privacy settings. The goal, in order to unlock full access to view their recent LinkedIn activity, will be to connect with them, and then the best way to do that is by including a 3x3 social in a customized LinkedIn invite without pitching your product or service. Make it all about them. When it comes to social listening, you'll see that the more you do it, the faster and easier things will become.
I would even recommend taking notes of the things you learn from listening for each buyer in your CRM so you can use it throughout the buying process, both online and offline.
- 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