Here’s a proven methodology to do every morning to capture more targeted leads and drive sales success.
When it comes to insurance sales, relationships matter. Accomplished insurance sales professionals know that their success depends on building and maintaining a robust network of customers and prospects.
What you may not know is how social selling can dramatically amplify your approach.
Social selling is relationship-building on a digital scale. It includes the practice of using social media channels to drive engagement, establish trust, build loyalty and convert connections into sales with a larger group of potential customers than is ever possible through traditional sales approaches, such as cold calling.
Through platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram, you participate in virtual conversations and create powerful connections where people come to know, respect and trust you and your brand—all without ever having a verbal exchange.
Data from LinkedIn Sales Solutions shows that organizations that lead in leveraging social selling drive 45% more sales opportunities than companies that rank lower on LinkedIn's Social Selling Index. Your competitors are likely already taking advantage of social selling to boost sales—and you should too.
To achieve results, however, it's important to understand how to apply social selling strategies effectively. Here are three things to consider:
1) It's a marathon, not a sprint. Though social media introductions begin instantly, too often people stick with, “Hey, I commented on your social post—call me back." The greater success comes from the long game, from maintaining a regular routine of gaining awareness and engagement as someone who is knowledgeable in your subject area and truly cares about your clients. Over time, that reputation nurtures a growing network, one individual at a time.
2) Social selling is not spam, nor a replacement for prospecting. Engagement is the key, so make your interactions meaningful and authentic. Present yourself as a viable solution to a client's problem.
Above all, avoid overselling or making your efforts seem self-serving. And while social selling should never replace prospecting strategies, when done correctly it can certainly strengthen prospecting efforts.
3) Comments are key. Commenting on posts takes a lot of time and is the step that drives the most engagement. You can really drive engagement when you select posts that genuinely elicit a reaction from you. This is where your comments can be the most powerful.
For example, a sales associate had been trying to get a meeting with an executive for months without success. One day he commented on one of the prospect's posts, letting him know why it resonated so profoundly with his perspective. His personal, poignant response moved the executive to react and the associate was able to book a meeting that day.
Impactful social selling requires consistency, which is why this daily social selling practice is so effective. Here's a proven methodology that helps sales teams capture more targeted leads and drive greater success. By 10 a.m. every day, use social media to:
- Follow 10 key prospects.
- React to 10 prospects' posts.
- Comment on 10 posts by your prospects.
This best practice takes 30-60 minutes at the start of each business day. It focuses your social selling strategy to be intentional and compelling, making sure you're building the relationship first and educating along the way—all of which makes closing a sale much easier.
5 Tips to Make Your Social Selling Strategy More Successful
Now that you know what social selling is, are aware of its impact on your overall sales strategy, and have a strategy to consistently connect, here are five ways to finetune your social selling technique:
1) Choose the right prospects. Balance the desire to expand your network with the importance of prioritizing the best type of client. Create an ideal customer profile (ICP) and research your potential audience. Use social media to find out how active they are on social platforms, and the platforms on which to connect with them.
Remember: You don't have to do business with everyone. Forming a network that aligns with your objectives and core values leads to the best career possibilities.
2) Follow proper etiquette. Never “ghost" someone, which is ignoring them just because they aren't ready to buy. Focus on educating over selling. Avoid negativity. Be genuine. Be professional. Use powerful words. When someone connects with you, thank them properly. Be timely with your reactions and comments. And personalization is key: Do not copy and-paste the same comment to everyone.
3) Build a relationship before making an “ask." You're ready to move to the next step in selling when you've provided enough resources and education that prospects are coming to you regularly. When they're commenting regularly on your posts and supporting your insights, it's more natural to move toward setting up a conversation.
4) Use effective content to help prospects embrace your brand. Reinforce the value you deliver with content that educates and keeps prospects engaged. Examples include educational formats like infographics, sales case studies, client success stories and frequently asked questions (FAQs); interactive tools such as calculators, quizzes, polls and surveys; and visual content that can include behind-the-scenes videos. Stories showcasing how you're involved in the community evoke emotion and responses, too.
5) Prioritize effective team training and engagement. If you lead a sales team, it's imperative to adopt social selling best practices to help your team transition and adapt. First, educate yourself. Solicit advice and partner with experts you trust. If someone on your team is strong at social selling, invite them to help create a curriculum.
Establish high expectations and inspire them by adopting the “three 10s before 10 a.m." rule and including the process in your key performance indicators (KPIs). Consider creating contests and adopting a team approach so boosting your social selling strategies becomes more interesting to all.
Casey Cunningham is CEO and founder of XINNIX, a premier leadership and sales performance company. For more information, call 678-325-3500, email XINNIX staff, or schedule a meeting.