Social Selling Step Three – Starting Online Conversations by Dean DeLisle
Remember when we talk about Social Selling, that we don’t mean sell, sell, sell. We want you to build rapport, connection and trust. In this article, we are using LinkedIn as our Social Selling examples.
I was just giving a talk this week to a group of entrepreneurs, and many were looking at either their career or their business. No matter what, everyone needs to understand the importance of proper online conversions and how to make your first moves. I always think this is like dating, how do I protect myself until I trust this relationship is going in the right direction?
The first is to trust yourself. Trust that you will make the right choices and pick the very best people in your social network to have the best conversions. The reason people mostly don’t trust is that they have been bitten by previous relationships, so they take that pain and fear into the next relationship. Then they don’t trust that they can make a good choice the next time, so they are so guarded they hold back and don’t lean into the engagement that is possible. So trust thyself!
The next move is to be real, don’t be fake or pretend you are more than you are. Don’t fake it till make it, just because you are online. This is the root of all evil in any relationship. Have a real clear, honest profile. Then when I have you move into conversion be sincere, thoughtful and honest.
Now by honest you also need to be drama free, so if you need to have an honest conversion where drama I imminent, then take it offline. This is simple yet often overlooked in groups and in the main newsfeeds. So when it feels like drama, trouble, or controversial, take it offline. Trust your gut and trust yourself, sound familiar?
Remember you are here to build trust, connection and a relationship. You want to gain business and referrals by building that trust, and you need to provide value. What does that mean? Don’t just pitch and promote, but show that you are a thorough leader and that you are valuable to others. You know what you are talking about, so people are “attracted” to you, not you “forcing” yourself on them! Share news, tips, fun facts and other people in your mix of online conversations. It’s not ALL ABOUT YOU!
When we provide value, and value based posts we always get the question about ratio. What should our ratio of value based posts be to our call to action, where we actually ask for something or pitch? This is best when your database has warmed up to you. We say at least 5-1 or even 7-1 depending on your audience and pitch. That means 5 value based posts to any call to action. This is best after you are in relationship with your database. That is often the best time to dare to even start asking.
Remember to connect not become disconnected because you are talking to someone through a screen. So many make this critical mistake, don’t let be you. This simple thought will make all the difference and allow you to stand out. Visualize the person you are talking to sitting across from you, smile, then make your move.
The easiest thing to do is learn from others. Watch for posts that you engage in and model yours from theirs. Simple!
Ready to talk?
Okay, now I think you are ready to talk! Remember there are four primary types of conversions that take place directly that are open to the world, as it applies to LinkedIn and Social Selling. There are others, but let’s stick with the primary.
Like – This is a surface level start to a conversion. Don’t get hooked on these and become a Like-A-Holic. We love the like, and we all get used to feeling like that is a real conversation, but it is not. Use this wisely, but don’t forget the next two.
Comment – This is your chance to be real, read what conversation the other person started with their post and be ready to engage deeply, like you’re looking them in the eye. Like we said, act online as if they are sitting across from you. Also, you have to stay efficient. In social selling, we have targeted conversions with people with whom we want to establish relationships with. So we want to get them offline for the real juicy part of this conversion. So after two interactions, time to get on the phone, skype or coffee shop. So make your move. Watch for Step Four, where we cover appointment setting.
Share – People love when you share their work. Pick your very best target relationships, comment thoughtfully, and then share their work. They love to be affirmed and this plants a connecting feeling of you in their minds. It generates a true gratitude based feeling.
Post – This is where you get to be a starter. This can happen in news feeds or groups. The thing with groups is to remember that those conversations need to be even more targeted to that audience.
Starting Your Conversion – “Post”
This is where the rubber meets the road. Most people get fear at this moment or if they are seasoned sales professionals they have the desire to sell, pitch, drive that “call to action.” Stop yourself and remember you want to build rapport. So think about the areas we talked about earlier. Trust yourself, then imagine your target prospect or client sitting across from you, not millions of people. This is not a seminar it’s a conversation with targeted people in your network, real people.
Then think about what you want to share with them. Is it news, business tip, funny story, experience, inspiration, or someone else’s work? Whatever it is start a conversation around it with an open ended question or a “power statement”. For instance if you want to share news you can make a statement around that piece of news, then ask “what are your thoughts on this?” This way people are more compelled to respond and engage with your post and engage in conversation.
Remember once you get the conversion going, don’t go dark or abandon the conversation. Think about how people feel when they are ignored. You can trash the start of any good relationship with abandonment. Keep following and then in step five we cover conversion. Don’t accidentally unfollow your own conversation, you don’t want to miss that opportunity.
You’re a Star!
Don’t forget to thank people once they respond, it does not go unnoticed. Remember you are in front of a grand network. Everyone in the conversation has a network, and your conversation and relationships are there to amaze people. So you pick up followers and attract more targeted connections from these simple moves. Please feel free to share your favorite moves. There are so many that we kept it to the ones we see most helpful.
Go ahead and start some great conversions and tell us how you do!