The problem with society today is that we’ve all become comfortable with being confined to neat and well-defined boxes. Sales professionals are creatures of habit. Like all people, we like repeatable processes to keep ourselves busy. Sometimes that works. Sometimes you’ll get the wind knocked out of you for repeating things over and over again.
Welcome to that time.
Today’s era of selling is radically different than what it was 10 years ago. Today, you must be willing to think outside the box. Today, your ability to Agitate and Disrupt will define your level of success.
Since it is becoming increasingly difficult to get mind-share (let alone face time) with potential buyers and prospects, your ability to shake things up will be your path to success.
If you put yourself into the shoes of a buyer today, they are being bombarded with phone calls, e-mails, print ads, TV and radio ads, and more. It’s a noisy world out there.
The bottom line is this: why should the buyer pay attention to you?
The answer is that they shouldn’t. Would you pay attention to yourself? The push model of B2B selling requires a swarm of marketing and sales activity to get the buyer to take some sort of action. Any sort of action, frankly. The pull model is where today’s buyers tend to take action. Let me explain.
As a sales professional, your role has evolved. Being the gate keeper of information used to be a central component of sales, but that’s completely changed now. Buyers don’t need you to learn about products or services, try demos, or get references. It’s all online now. If you think about it, this now means you are now at the buyer’s mercy. Your ability to internalize this change can mean the difference between status quo and success. Buyers can now pull information when they need to and dictate the speed, flow and depth of the sales cycle.
Pretty scary isn’t it? Fear not.
It’s time for you to start helping the buyer and adding value. Don’t stop selling; just stop selling the way you did 15 years ago. Don’t be the pushy “did you get my quote” sales rep. Or the “I’m in your area for 15 minutes this Friday” sales rep. Be the pro that helps them find the information they need, even if it means no sale.
In the world of Social Selling, the key is to (get ready for it) be Social and build rapport. This is your bankable investment for a long-term position with that buyer.
That said, here are two things you should focus on in this new digital B2B revolution.
B2B buyers, like all people, are creatures of habit. You need to be an agitator that shows them why your product and service is better, faster, shinier or just plain cheaper. Show them through the Social avenues they’re unpressured in without carpet bombing them with cold calls and e-mails.
Find them online, see the discussions they’re having and find creative ways to help them while demonstrating your unique value.
The key to selling successfully is not to sell to the need but to a problem buyers aren’t (yet) aware of. It’s your job to articulate these potential pitfalls and landmines on your buyer’s journey. This means that you must disrupt their current and traditional pattern of thinking. The more you get them to think about these potential problems, the more you can wield your influence while providing the necessary solutions.
Social Selling helps you thrive in today’s fast-paced and complex world. B2B buyers will always buy and that’s never changing. What needs to change is your ability to help them and build long-term relationships. Funny enough, Social Selling delivers on the promise of what sales should be; personal and rapport-driven.
So go ahead, be Social; but do so while agitating and disrupting your buyer’s thought process.
The Bottom Line
Social selling isn’t difficult; it’s just different. And I really do mean that. If you need some guidance on where and how to start, you can pick a time in my calendar that works with you. We’ve also got a lot of free resources here to help you get started.
Now, go out and shake things up.
To learn more about Social Selling check out 10 Steps to Becoming a Social Selling Machine or 9 Steps to a Winning LinkedIn Profile for Sales Professionals. For tips, tricks and more rants, we could always set-up a time to chat using my below schedule …
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