When to pick up the phone during the social selling process
Sander Biehn is founder and CEO of Thought Horizon, LLC. After a successful career in sales at AT&T, he founded his company in 2013 helping organizations to build, manage and succeed using social selling.
Timing is everything, right? Regardless of how good you are at using social media to sell, there is a time to pick up the phone. At which points during a typical sale the salesperson should be contacting a prospect directly by phone or email?
- Prospecting Phase:
Gaining awareness and interest using social media has been a tired and true tactic since the inception of outbound marketing. Social selling lends itself to getting prospects to think of you first when they want to buy.
Many social sellers think they should not be calling prospects in the early phases of the sale.
They are wrong.
If a prospect shows interest by interacting with your content or downloading a white paper from a blog landing page, it is time to call! Don’t expect a one call close, though. Establishing yourself as a real person, available to answer questions, is essential for progressing the sale once the prospect is ready to buy. A simple introductory call can give you a reason to connect deeper with your prospect. For example, they may be ready to become a connection on LinkedIn where you can connect on a more personal level using social selling.
- Evaluation Phase:
Once a prospect has shown interest in a proposal, they are asking for a one-to-one relationship. Don’t try to make a point of continuing to use social selling when you have already been given unfettered access to the prospect. Take advantage of open access.
This doesn’t mean you stop posting interesting and compelling content, it just means you should pick up the phone and drop an email first before you reach out again via social media.
- The Quiet Phase:
Once a prospect goes into a final evaluation they may ‘go dark’ on you while they make the final decision. During this period, you need to use all available channels in an expert fashion. Your cadence of phone, email and social posts need to be subtle and work in concert with each other reminding the prospect why they should buy from you. You need to be picking up the phone and typing emails at least as often as you post on social media.
Social media is just one component in successful selling. Sellers cannot rely too heavily on any one channel. By opening new channels to influence prospects using social media, sellers can increase sales. Our client’s Enterprise B2B sales teams see an increase of 10% in monthly closed sales when they use social media effectively along with other traditional methods over those who only use phone and email to sell.
Reach out to us if you are planning to implement Social Selling.