Social listening is Pillar 4 of the 5 Pillars of Social Selling as defined by Jill Rowley social selling evangelist and purple cape wearing fighter against the crimes of sales uncertainty.
— Jill Rowley (@jill_rowley) September 11, 2014
A good sales rep listens more than she talks. Listening via the web and social media lets you be on top of timely and relevant trends, news and topics that help you to better know your buyers. One of the keys here is timely. Set up your tools and processes to listen every day to gain the advantage.
Knowledge is power. And timing is everything. Good selling techniques mean reaching out with timely information about your PROSPECT, not you. Read the daily news to keep up to date on major industry trends. Monitor for what I call selling trigger points with your prospect companies and key players: keep an eye out for major news, changes in management or key decision makers, partnerships, new deals, spinouts, acquisitions, etc. A congratulatory note for a new position or accomplishment one of the best ways to reach out in a non-salesy way. A positive news article is great to share with key contacts if they might not have seen it yet. (That’s always been a good idea – I remember when I’d cut out an article from the paper, add a handwritten note, put a stamp on it, and mail it to a prospect! That was the 90’s. This is better.) A change in jobs can be an opportunity to reach out for a referral. An acquisition could mean your deal just got bigger. You might even find an opportunity if you hear a prospect saying they are displeased with another solution.
Being able to stay on top of this information is essential to a good consultative sales approach and social media makes it easier than before to listen.
We’ll talk some more about useful tools for social listening in our next blog.