Month: March 2019

Salespeople Should Stop Making These 11 Social Media Mistakes

Salespeople Should Stop Making These 11 Social Media Mistakes

There is no question that salespeople need a positive impression on social media. You can save the Facebook account for friends and family arguments and fun posts, but your LinkedIn account and your Twitter account need to be professional.

Remember, every sale is composed of three things that you are selling:

  1. Your product (and your product is probably not better than your competitor’s product).
  2. Your company (and your company’s reputation is probably not better than your competitor’s reputation).
  3. YOU!

So if the first two things probably tie with your competitor, the real thing that you sell every day is YOU. You are the difference maker in the sales process. You influence the sale every time that you interact with the prospect. The goal of social media is to affect the deal even when you are not in the prospect’s office.

If you want to understand more about how selling YOU is the most crucial part of what you sell, you can reach out to me, and we can discuss. You also may want to purchase my book Eliminate Your Competition from your favorite book retailer. The ebook version is available at the most popular retailers such as Apple, Amazon, Barnes & Noble. The paperback version is also widely available at such retailers as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books A Million.

Social media is a great tool. It isn’t the entire sale, but it can be a definite difference maker in selling the third and most significant part of what you sell – YOU! So you cannot screw up your social presence. You need to make it work for you. Hootsuite is a great tool that I use, and they regularly advise on using social media. My article here was inspired by their original post. Here are eleven social media mistakes that all salespeople need to avoid:

  1. Overusing hashtags – stop at one or two and make sure they are relevant to what you are saying.
  2. Jumping on every trend – You look foolish when jumping on the buzz-bandwagon for a hot topic, rather than being relevant. Instead, you need to add value, not noise.
  3. Oversharing – You look silly, phony, and pretentious when sharing pics of your breakfast. Remember that your brand is a public figure. Sure, be entertaining, witty, and bold as long as you’re professional, useful, and savvy about what you post for your intended audience.
  4. Not responding to your audience – Social media is about being social (hence the term). When a friend says something to you at a party or when they see you at the grocery store, you don’t just walk by them, do you? You interact with them. Do the same with social media.
  5. Automating thank-you responses. – It is no very easy to hit a button on LinkedIn to say Thank You. Guess what – everyone on LinkedIn knows that you just hit a button. Don’t do it. Type a quick couple of honest words. It takes maybe a minute longer than the quick button and is 1000% more valuable.
  6. Posting for posting’s sake – if you have nothing to say that day, then don’t say anything. Be relevant, not a pest.
  7. Posting rather than talking – It is vital to evolve your social presence to speak to your followers. Don’t just put up a link to an article, explain why it is essential to read. I slightly break this rule for posting to Twitter for items that you wrote, that is okay. But, if you found a great article on WSJ or Forbes or some other business-oriented channel, explain why you are putting it on to your social channel.
  8. Worry less about the number of followers (corollary: Don’t buy likes or followers): It doesn’t do you any good. You need to have a relationship with those that matter to your career. False likes and false followers don’t matter. You won’t make more commission because you have 1,000 false followers!
  9. Don’t post about sex, politics, or religion unless it is to your friends and family on Facebook. Even then, remember it is part of you, and your future employer will read it. If you don’t want your next boss to read it on Facebook, then don’t put it out.
  10. Don’t share only other’s stuff – you need to offer your commentary about the world and your business.
  11. Stop auto-posting the same message. It is okay to repeat a post once or twice separated by a couple of days. These are streams of information, and your followers may easily miss a single post. However, the limit is three duplicates, and they each need to be at least 18-36 hours between posts (or longer). BTW, Hootsuite is an excellent tool for managing this.
Header Photo by juaniraola
Don’t Sell Your Product Before You Sell Yourself

Don’t Sell Your Product Before You Sell Yourself

If you think your only job is to sell your company’s products and services, think again. Before you can ever close a sale, you must sell the customer on why they should buy from you and your company.

Unless a customer has done business with you before, the only thing they might have decided when they start to talk to you is what type of product or service they are considering. In reality, all they may know is that they might not be achieving their corporate or personal goals. Talking to you has nothing to do with their decision to work with your company. And, at this point, they are not sold on why they should. In fact, they may not even be sold that their missed goal can be solved by buying a product or service.

Customers engage with you for a variety of reasons. They may have seen an ad or found the company on the Internet. You may have cold-called the company or networked with the company via social media. They may have been referred to you. It has nothing to do with their decision to work with your company.

This is why it is imperative for salespeople to answer the question, “Why should I buy from you?” You must sell your personal credibility before you can sell anything else. Think of it as a job interview.

As a job candidate, you do everything you can to put your best foot forward, from the way you dress, to how you listen, and how you answer questions honestly, thoroughly, and correctly. You strive to prove that you are the right choice, that you have the skills, commitment, and passion that will benefit the employer now and in the future.

The same applies when customers interview you. They need to know why they should buy from you as well as buying from your company. They look for a professional who is committed to listening and understanding their needs. The key word here is listening. This is the only way to understand their needs thoroughly. It is imperative that you listen before you try to answer questions.

What’s at stake?

Giving customers a reason to buy from you and your company has immediate and long-time benefits. In the short-term, customers will be delighted with their experience and tell their friends. This has the potential to increase your social network and increase your personal worth. In the long-run, it means that customers will be back for service, accessories, and more.

On the other hand, if you don’t develop a relationship built on trust and confidence, you will always end up selling on price, just like everyone else. Even if a customer purchases a product or service, they may never be back, and, they may warn others to steer clear of your company.

What’s involved?

You must be the best professional that you can be. You must embrace work as a profession, not as just another job. A professional salesperson is proud of his craft and tries to be the best that s/he can.

In my book, Eliminate Your Competition I discuss there are three things that you must sell:

  1. your product,
  2. your company,
  3. yourself.

Since most products have competition that solves the core of the same problems, products rarely win the deal by themselves. Since most companies are high quality, the company reputation rarely wins the deal. The big variable in all sales opportunities is you. You can show that you are a better partner and a better advocate than the other salesperson. You can show that it is better to buy from you than to buy from the other person. You may purchase my book from your favorite book retailer. The ebook version is available at the most popular retailers such as Apple, Amazon, Barnes & Noble. The paperback version is also widely available at such retailers as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books A Million.

Customer loyalty isn’t what it used to be. People don’t return simply because it’s where they purchased previously. They re-purchase because salespeople took the time to build a relationship. They gave the customer a reason to buy from their company. When you have a relationship with a customer, everything is more straightforward. But remember, even one mistake can cause a loyal customer to leave. It is up to you to sell them on your company, sell them on your professionalism, and then, to keep them sold through simple, consistent communication.