We want things. We crave stuff. Human beings are naturally needy. We’re wired to follow those who give — those who serve. Everything from the emotional to physical and whatever falls in between — we seek it out.
In a sales and marketing environment, we allow those who are helpful, in. We weed those who are phony, out. People who regularly share valuable information, useful tips and make it easier for others to stay up to date are considered valued members of your network. They are trusted resources you turn to for business advice. At the very least, they aren’t unfollowed, unsubscribed, or otherwise blocked. Access isn’t for everyone.
So the question is this: Are you a giver or a taker?
Who Gives? You … Or Your Competitors?
The Internet and most specifically social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn have made knowledge sharing easy… And at the same time a very arduous task. Never have we had access to so much information. It’s not slowing down, either.
Not just the opinions and research of friends, family, and colleagues, but literally information on everything and anything is only a few clicks away. Keep in mind, though, that how information is packaged and presented is arguably more important than what’s said–as you cannot quibble with content you don’t see. And, you as a business professional want to be poised for greatness.
Situational knowledge is your secret weapon. But why keep it a secret? Sharing information, created or curated by you, that showcases your knowledge as a business professional, is not just useful for you alone. We’ve been taught to build our resumes and work time-on-task. But giving knowledge freely is one of the quickest ways to build rapport and the necessary trust for a lasting relationship.
Helping is The New Selling
Just like your personal brand is the new sales call, helping is the new way to sell. Sales professionals play a pivotal role in an organization’s success, and that is in large part due to their natural inclination to be public facing. This is ⅘ of the way there. The last mile to really bring it home is a service mindset. For what it’s worth, people are highly attenuated to (psst… they can always tell!) when you’re in it for you, not them.
Social networks and social CRM make helping prospects and customers a streamlined tactical activity that is guaranteed to please.
- Referencing publicly available data and information stored in your social CRM from previous communications allows you to share timely content on just the right channel to your contacts.
- Being an effective salesperson has a lot to do with providing useful information just when the prospect or customer needs it. Great information delivered too late or in a format the recipient doesn’t access frequently is a major fail.
Helping is the new selling — but knowing your target audience will be the driver of your success.
Whom Do You Serve?
Here’s another part that’s super critical. Having a specific idea of the people you are serving is necessary. Funny, too, you’d think this one would be a no-brainer… And yet who among us cannot recall the thousands of messages that were 1-size-fits-all and treated you like a number? From a salesperson who cared, no doubt.
Instead, dig deeper. It doesn’t mean hours of research (digital stalking?) on your prospect. It does mean understanding the types of psychographics, demographics, and biases these prospects are likely to have, then marrying this research with potential connection points gleaned from social profiles. This is the crux of what many people feel is behind Social Selling. Short form, it means having a perspective about why them? How is my service relevant to them? What they are likely to care about.
Social CRM is Service at Scale
Scaling is undoubtedly one of the more common roadblocks modern businesses face. Thanks to technology you truly can be a global business which increases your target audience to overwhelming numbers. Using social media correctly enables you to speak directly to this audience – but can you adequately handle the incoming responses?
Scale is the devil in disguise, though. Because that devil is in the details:
- Large lists.
- Big quotas.
- The ability to reach many.
We all get tempted — and our Lizard Brains have us filling in the blanks of what could be… It’s always a positive outcome (in your mind).
The trick is discipline, at both an organizational and individual level. Just because you can broadcast messages on social channels doesn’t mean you should. Just because you can collect Followers and connections doesn’t mean you should. Rewiring your brain away from playing the numbers game is hard.
As helpful and as eager as your sales force may be, they will never perform optimally unless they are supported companywide. Social CRM is not just an individual’s role. It is a company strategy. Your CRM must support social strategies to effectively implement today’s prospect and customer relationship management realities. A customer-first mindset is a holistic approach to business that is supported by tools and naturally lends itself to serve the primeval neural needs of your audience.