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The 3 Do's and 3 Don'ts of Social Selling for B2B Companies

Posted by IndustrySelect on Tuesday, April 13, 2021

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4 MIN. READ

Social selling is the act of engaging directly with potential customers through any number of social media platforms, including (but not limited to) Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter. There are many advantages to social selling, and anyone who does not use this method is losing business.

However, there are several things that you want to avoid. Discover some common dos and don'ts to ensure you use this method to its fullest extent.

Why Social Selling?

This should not be confused with social media marketing. Social media marketing is advertising through social media in the hopes of attracting companies who want your products or services. Social selling specifically targets companies who need your products or services, engaging with them in a natural way and nurturing a relationship until a sales opportunity presents itself.

In many cases, social selling has replaced cold calling, which is a relief to both salespeople and prospects as it is much more comfortable to engage in. The beauty of social selling is that it gives agency to the prospect to respond on their own schedule rather than being cornered in a cold call. It allows them to research your company at their leisure and take time to formulate questions they would like to ask you.

One thing to remember is that this is a long-term practice. Thus, it will take some time to see real results, but these tips below can help you optimize the process.

The Don'ts of Social Selling

1. Don’t rush the sale

Never message representatives at a company saying, “Hey, work with us!” They will likely block you or ignore you. Essentially, don’t jump to selling after talking to someone for only a day or two. Being pushy has no place on social media. It takes time to establish and develop relationships with people - the right opportunity will present itself at the right time.

2. Don't be that person

We have all seen the feeds that go from industry-related posts to random photos of food, selfies from the gym or inappropriate memes. While not every post has to be about business (many companies may occasionally post a picture of the office cat or an employee picnic), random personal photos have no place on the profile. Those are for your personal account, not the business one.

3. Don't get too clingy

Social media makes it extremely easy to find out what people are doing nearly every minute of the day. However, with great digital power comes great social responsibility. It is okay to send an occasional message if a prospect has dropped off the radar for a while. It is not okay to lurk through their feed and ask private questions. At best, you are annoying. At worst, you are a stalker. Avoid this behavior at all costs!

The Do's of Social Selling

1. Present yourself and your company well

A professional but engaging profile is a crucial part of social selling. Businesses do not want to engage with a bot or a corporate drone but rather a real person. Explain what services you provide, what knowledge you can offer and how to get in contact. Make sure content is relevant to what you do and offers useful information.

2. Be involved

Joining groups that discuss industry-related topics is a good way to grow your reach, create new contacts and exhibit your expertise on the subject. It doesn’t mean bombarding forums or chats with your services or pricing structure. It means joining discussions and contributing organically to the conversation.

3. Listen to what they're not saying

Businesses may not directly tell you what they need. Especially in casual conversation, they are probably not going to blurt out that they are having supply chain issues with a raw material provider who's causing production delays. Instead, they may only hint that they have had a tough couple of weeks. It is up to you to identify these types of statements, dig a little deeper and be prepared to help.

Get Started with the Right Tools

Social selling is just about coming across as who you are - a human being there to connect and hopefully build a relationship. Accurate information is a big part of getting there.

IndustrySelect can make finding this information easier and time-effective. With 400,000 manufacturers listed, you'll have access to all of their social media links, and you can follow them by simply clicking the appropriate icon. You will also get lists of key personnel at each company, critical industry data and the latest trends. Join IndustrySelect and start social selling today.

 

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