Whilst it’s still utilised by some professionals, cold-calling has fallen out of favour. This is mostly due to the accessibility and wealth of tools that digital platforms can afford us that are too good to ignore.
Events also used to be a great way to forge and maintain client relationships, vital to B2B companies, as attending events can lead to prosperous networking and sales opportunities. However, in the context of current goings-on, we have seen in-person events cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Whilst the event sector had a rocky start in their transition to the virtual, they’ve certainly had a chance to grow and evolve into this new world over the last year or so. However, it can still be a challenge to network effectively, particularly if you’re involved in a rather large, virtual event.
With vaccines slowly being rolled out, but some 2021 events still being cancelled, it appears that we won’t be restored to a pre-pandemic way of living for the foreseeable future. This means getting to grips with the social selling tools available to us at this current point in time.
It’s Not Called The ‘World Wide Web’ For Nothing!
Everyone is there (well, mostly). Social selling works best for B2B because it’s built upon a foundation of long-term relationships. It involves seeking out your ideal client or prospects online, and it is so effective because that is where you will find a majority of professionals these days.
Social selling is unlike the more traditional methods because it’s about engaging prospects over a longer period of time. It has been proven that buyers will view at least three to five pieces of content before contacting a sales rep. But, don’t shove it in their faces. It’s all about taking a gentle, quality approach rather than going for the hard sell. Cultivate these relationships for bigger rewards and leave the pushy sales talk behind.
How Effective Is Social Selling?
Sites like LinkedIn have been proven to play a very important role in closing deals. It’s a great tool for tracking down leads, growing your relationships and sharing content to get people interested.
For the salespeople that invest in social media, 64% hit their quotas compared to 49% who didn’t use social media for the purpose of social selling. That’s a fairly heavy majority!
The only thing you need to be wary of as you head into the world of social selling is that you need patience. It can be a long process but it pays off. With virtual events growing in popularity all the time, it’s good to consider how these could be turned into a social selling opportunity.
Seize The Virtual Event Sales Opportunities
Whilst many of us have had to learn-as-we-go in regards to virtual events, it’s looking as though they will continue well into 2021 and possibly beyond. Having had the past year to get to grips with holding conference calls or webinars, now you need to be looking towards transforming them into social selling opportunities.
First of all – promote them! Remember I mentioned content earlier? Turn the event into the content. Make videos, images, or PDFs that relate to or note the details of the event. Post them, see if you can garner interest and make note of those who seem to be particularly keen. Let attendees know they can share it, to show they’re attending and spread the word even further.
Networking virtually is certainly different and does come with its own challenges, however, keeping an attendee list will help to locate potential prospects post-event so you can continue the conversation through channels like LinkedIn.
Overall, social selling was seeing a steady increase in interest even prior to the pandemic. However, it’s now become a sort of necessity for growth and survival which it can accredit to the new surge in popularity. Sales professionals who can utilise social selling in 2021 will most likely be at an advantage to those who do not. Put down that landline and enter the 21st century of selling.