When Buying Patterns are Disrupted, Ramp Up Social Selling
In my previous blog on social selling, I mentioned how it’s important for sellers to be where their buyers are in order to gain understanding and familiarize buyers with their brand during the awareness stage. By mid-March of this year, in-person events came to a screeching halt and everything went digital seemingly overnight due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a trend that perpetuates as the pandemic continues on. Early on, McKinsey & Company recommended that businesses shift their primary focus to maintaining customer relationships during this difficult time. This advice is effective during any period but continues to be essential in these times we continue to navigate. Social selling is an effective, non-invasive method that sellers can use to equip themselves with meaningful information to build and nurture relationships and craft highly personalized messages to buyers.
“Is there anything I can do to help?”
If your prospects aren’t always picking up the phone these days, it may be because they’re spending more time online, including spending more time on digital social platforms. Therefore, an effective way to build or nurture relationships with buyers right now starts by following or connecting with them on channels like LinkedIn and Twitter. This allows sellers to identify buyer interests and concerns through social listening, ultimately answering the question of the year: “Is there anything I can do to help?”
Authenticity and empathy are essential for relationship building
It’s important that sellers (and people in general) are authentic and empathetic in everything they do right now. During these times, prospects don’t want to be sold to with generic messages about your products; they want a trusted partner that can help them navigate uncharted waters and solve their problems. So, instead of focusing on selling, turn your attention to getting to know the human behind the lead you’re trying to nurture.
Prospect-Level Intent data can reveal powerful intelligence about the business needs of prospects, their content consumption and the vendors they are considering during their buying cycle. However, prospect and customer social profiles can reveal a lot about their human interests: hobbies, volunteer organizations, and more importantly, how they’re doing in general. Connect with a prospect on LinkedIn or follow them on Twitter and you’ll see these snippets of their life as well as ways you can engage with them to build the relationship beyond their business needs – with real empathy.
Putting in the work now to drive more ROI later
So, focus the extra time you are spending indoors these days building your own social presence and creating or sharing relevant, helpful content with buyers that will make them view you in a positive light. This will help instill trust in the relationships you build right now, and it will pay off in the long run when typical buying cycles return.