Coaching Moment: The Buyer-Centric Social Profile

Jamie Shanks
Jamie Shanks

You are the CEO of a market. Your sellers are the CEO of their specific portfolio. World-class CEOs recognize that people buy from people they like and they trust. People like people, just like themselves. This very simple premise is why your sellers need to build a buyer-centric social profile.

Drive accountability with each of your sellers to take a moment and review the following:

1. Customers profiles for language and vernacular.
2. Customer profiles for describing their own values, strategic priorities, project experience.

This will help you define the value propositions that are important to your customer. Your sellers need to have a profile that makes your customers feel they’ve walked a mile in their shoes.

The best way for you to articulate the importance of a buyer-centric social profile is to review a situation using Gestalt.

Describe buying experiences that you’ve had in your career, or how you’ve approached buying solutions for your business. How did you conduct market research, how did you profile sales professionals that reached out to you?  What were your initial reactions?

The best way for you to articulate this message is to explain how you buy as a LEADER.

Here is a 4-Step process to Coaching towards the right actions and behaviors:

1. Preparation

Ask your seller to send you two things in advance:
a. Their own LinkedIn profile and;
b. The profiles of customers in their portfolio that they reviewed to be inspired.

Here, you’re trying to ensure that they’ve completed the necessary research to make their profile.

2.  Decision-Making Framework

Starting at the Inflection Point of their LinkedIn Profile design.
Here are 3 examples of situations you can discuss:

1. What do you believe will be the initial reaction of the Nike IT Director if they do a Bing or LinkedIn search on your profile?
2. How do you think our competition is building their brand around the Nike account?
3. What research have you done on the Nike IT department to better understand what’s important to them? What experience do they have?

You are trying to invoke a deeper understanding how they make decisions about their personal brand.  Also, how they believe customers arm themselves to make informed decisions.

3. Eureka Moment

Apply your Gestalt story.  You may tell the story of a seller (or sellers in your ecosystem) that created above average opportunities because they were perceived thought-leaders in their market. Or, tell the story around how an online personality (for example, like a Dr. Oz) or public figure, is perceived to have greater knowledge than your local doctor. Even though they may have a comparable knowledge base – perception is reality. Tell a story that specifically outlines how you have seen how buyers are emotional creatures, and they gravitate to people they trust.

Ask the seller to now retrace their decisions on their social profile and ask:  how do you now perceive yourself from the lens of our customers?

4. Action

On the assumption that you’ve caught the seller in a Eureka Moment, pause and apply an actionable next step. Create a timeline for that seller to rebuild a buyer centric social profile, and perhaps lead the seller to a perfect resource for their rebuild – their customers. How can the seller study five to 10 of their top customers, mirror the language, values, interests, that their customers write on their social profiles?

For it to be an actionable step you need to create a timeline, at which they will appear before their next 1-on-1, to demonstrate a behavioral change. We suggest the action is due at your next 1-on-1.

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The Ultimate Guide to Social Selling