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by Tim Hughes | @Timothy_Hughes

LinkedIn is social selling?

We often get asked, (probably as LinkedIn has such a massive hold on the social selling marketing) and that (obviously) they want to sell you there product.  So many times people ask us is Linkedin = social selling?

If we think about the main B2B social networks, or the networks where your your customers (honestly they are) hanging out, such as:-

  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • WeChat (in Asia)

Add to that social networks such as Pinterest, snapchat, etc, it is estimated that LinkedIn is only 30% of your social graph.

This means that a LinkedIn only approach will severely restrict the results you will get from social selling.

Let’s pick each of these networks:-

Facebook, we still today hear people say that Facebook is for “family and friends”. That said there are plenty of people that are using the groups and search and find contacts as a way to build their networks.  If you are calling upon a CEO and they are a friend of your brother-in-law you might not know this as they are not connected on Linkedin.  Why would they, there is a connection on Facebook.

When I first started sales and went on my first sales call, I asked to my sales mentor, what do I do in the first few minutes.  “Build rapport” was the reply.  It’s what all good sales people do, we find an area of common ground.  We went to the same school, university, support the same or rival football clubs.  Something that gives us a common bound.  Why? People buy from people they trust. So when I went into the first meeting, the Finance Director had photos of steam trains on the wall.  “Are you interested in steam trains?” I asked. Selling to somebody who is interested in fly fishing, you become a fly fishing expert.

This is Instagram. Your ability to find out people’s interests and match back through the sales process.

Twitter is generally loved by geeks and sports fans.  If you sell to IT, or need to get IT’s sign off, then you will find them on Twitter.  You also often find account influencers and change makers on Twitter.  Don’t forget that account influencers may not work in the account.  They may have left, but are still asked their opinion.

Social selling is about people and process, it’s not all about the features and functions of one social network.  If LinkedIn fell out of favour and say Facebook, became the business network. That would waste all your LinkedIn training.

Social selling and empowering your sales team and employees to use social and have a social mindset requires you to train them in social techniques regardless of network.

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