What is your definition of Social Selling?
I’d say that Social Selling is about having a professional presence on social media and also having an awareness of what’s going on. You don’t have to be engaging all the time, but having a persistent professional presence on a few social channels to keep in touch with prospects or opportunities is the key to Social Selling.
Which social channels do you use in Social Selling and how do you use them?
Professionally, I use LinkedIn and Twitter.
On LinkedIn, I connect with every person I have a conversation with or meet in person. Some people are picky about who they connect with, whatever is right for you go for that. And don’t forget to write a personal note, even if it’s simple. Taking the time to personalize your note will go a long way. Over the years, LinkedIn has changed their UI and now they make it effortless to stay updated with people when they get a new job or a work anniversary.
On Twitter, I’ve seen a lot of success and have developed a large number of relationships by RTing, commenting on tweets and thanking people for sharing content. Those activities have turned into great relationships and friendships where we’ll DM (direct message) each other and stay on each other’s radar.
How did you get involved in Social Selling?
I had just started my career in Sales and Koka Sexton came into the ToutApp office and did a training on Social Selling for our small team. At the time, I only had a LinkedIn for my digital resume and barely used Twitter. Koka’s training was inspiring as he told us all about Social Selling, how to stay relevant and told us how he built his social presence.
As an internal ToutApp fun fact, I also started on Social Selling because I wanted to get more followers than Daniel Barber. Between Daniel, myself and two other reps, we had an internal competition of who could get a hundred followers in a day, then a who could break a thousand followers, etc.
As Sales moves towards an Inside Sales model, how do you think Social Selling is bringing back the 1-to-1 communication?
I think in our generation, social media is huge–with Instagram and Facebook, we’ve been conditioned to update those personal networks and engage with other people’s updates as well. Since staying connected is a huge part of our personal lives, bringing that mentality to a professional setting is transferrable. On these professional networks, a new sales rep can learn a lot and gain a lot of valuable insight without having to have 1-on-1 communication.
Social Selling allows you to get to develop relationships that you’re not able to make just by talking business on the phone or right after a demo. When you’re able to go onsite and talk to the team you’re selling to–people are more likely to open up and you can interact them easier, and so Social Selling gives you that 1-to-1 insight and allows you to have outside conversations.
Many people aren’t fans of the term Social Selling, what’s your take on the term?
I don’t mind the term, but for my strategy it’s not about selling. I utilize these platforms to build relationships, understand people’s priorities, and be social. And so, if opportunities come in later or if there’s a way to leverage those relationships, then the selling part comes in.
How do you fit Social Selling into your workflow?
Having the right tools to help you stay updated on the topics you care about is really beneficial to keeping Social Selling part of your workflow. Blocking off time at least once a day to go through your Twitter feed to read, comment and share is a great process. The third thing I do is whenever I get off a phone call with someone, I connect with them on either LinkedIn personalize the message based on our call.
Even before calls, I use LinkedIn to research who I’m about to talk to on the phone and I look at if we have mutual connections or where they went to school, etc. I bring the information that I find on LinkedIn into my calls and sales cycle.
Any final tips for people who want to get started on Social Selling?
For all the social channels that you decide to use professionally, you should have the same handle and picture across all the channels. This goes into building your professional brand and makes it easier for other people to find you.
Lastly, tell me why you’re Meghan “Oops I Close Deals” O’Donnell.
When I was an MDR and I’d always ask if I could close a five-seat deal because they were ready to buy ToutApp as an inbound lead, so TK started calling me Meghan “Oops I Close Deals” O’Donnell. Then we all went to New York in April 2014, and TK spoke at the Sales Hacker conference and we all wanted to live tweet the event–so I created a Twitter handle and landed on @oopsiclosedeals.