An article recently appeared on Harvard Business Review about social selling. They speak about the short-lived success of outbound marketing and instead suggest you begin social selling instead.
What is social selling? It’s engaging with your prospects through social media. Connecting with people on LinkedIn or Facebook. Sharing content and knowledge and establishing yourself as an expert in *their* field without being a pushy salesperson. When the time is right, they come to you.
This is essentially part of what we call “Stage Two” in our marketing process. Stage 1 is to get your house in order and make sure you have created your “back-story”, so that when your prospects do their research on you online (and they WILL do their research) you want to make sure what they find is accurate, professional and engaging. Stage 2 is where you begin to reach out to targeted niches online.
We offer several webinars/training sessions for insurance agency staff on using social media and particularly for producers on how to use LinkedIn for prospecting. It’s a low-key, easy way to engage your prospects and begin a healthy relationship with them.
In the past, sales trainers would tell you that sales is an adversarial relationship – the client has something you want (their money) and you have to convince them to part with it, whether you product fits their needs or not. In fact, if you could sell them (or up-sell them) a product they didn’t really need, you were considered a great salesman.
Social selling takes a much different approach. You establish relationships that build into trust, and then you leverage those relationships to reach even more prospects who are similar. The best part is, it really doesn’t take all that long, and if you make it a daily habit, it will begin paying off huge dividends.
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