Your Business

Using Social Selling to create genuine connections

As an engaged adviser, you’ll have noticed the increased emphasis on technology and social media as integral parts of doing business.  

We’re in a fascinating and unprecedented time with technology and social media acting as the catalyst for change, and as a qualifier of success for those who adopt them smartly. 

At APEX 2013 we were fortunate to have Baz Gardner – ‘The Social Adviser’ present on the importance of a social media presence and how you can optimise your LinkedIn Profile.  If you haven’t had a chance to refresh your memory or perhaps weren’t at APEX 2013, I encourage you to read this article and access our tools to fine tune your online profile before we dive into the next step in maximising social media.

Here we look at how to use social media to create genuine connections and turn these connections into clients.  This is called Social Selling.

The good news is that if you’re engaging with your target audience via social media like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, you’re already using social selling.

Social selling is all about building relationships with potential clients and deepening relationships with existing clients. As Baz Gardner highlighted in 2013, it’s all about leveraging yourself at scale.

LinkedIn states that social selling is made up of 4 main areas1.

  • Creating a professional brand
  • Engaging with insight
  • Building strong relationships
  • Finding the right people in the buying process

The first point should already be in hand via LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter profiles. Don’t let potential clients be turned off because they can’t find enough information. Hand it to them on a platter via a complete LinkedIn profile, including a professional photo with well written details on who you are and what you represent. 

Social selling is also about engaging with clients in a unique and disarming way. To engage with insight means to share information and participate in conversations regarding something you are legitimately passionate about.  For you this could be a sporting interest, hobby or area of professional expertise. 

For me, I’m really passionate about supporting women's rights and gender equality. ANZ has just launched a fantastic campaign around women's rights which seeks to improve our systems, so that both women and men have the same opportunities to succeed and prosper financially. 

 

I’ll be using the ANZ Women’s campaign for my own social selling activities by liking and sharing the content to my LinkedIn profile and spreading the word via my networks.  We encourage you to access powerful articles and content at anz.com/women and anz.com/equalfuture to directly engage your prospects with female-specific financial education and advice, and begin social selling for yourself.

Once you’ve decided on your area of focus, you can create a content strategy and join conversations by sharing articles or posts, or creating your own to host on your website, LinkedIn profile, and newsletters. By doing this consistently you’ll build a reputation as the go-to adviser on this issue.

Building stronger relationships is possible via social selling, as long as your interactions are authentic. From your research you may have discovered which city they live in, their family situation (young and single, married with kids), their interests and more.

With this knowledge you can now take the time to congratulate them on their team’s win over the weekend, ask them how their holiday was, forward on an article you think they’ll find interesting and relevant to create a stronger relationship with them. 

Lead nurturing is the process of developing relationships with buyers at every stage of the sales funnel, and through every step of the buyer’s journey. Using social media to nurture leads should become part of your sales process. Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads, at a 33% lower cost.3

Finding the right people in the buying process is possible with tools such as LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator. The algorithm built into it does the hard work for you, by helping you focus on the right prospects and providing lead recommendations based on the entire LinkedIn Worldwide database. With over 330 million users, you should consider taking advantage of a month’s free trial and download Navigator.

I encourage you to use the tools available from the ANZ Women’s campaign to begin your journey of Social Selling. We hope you join us to help close the gap of gender inequality, and improve the lives of Australian women.

 

July 2015