by Adam Gray | @AGSocialMedia
For the last 18 months we have been working with some fantastic companies, helping them to embrace Social Selling amongst their sales teams. It’s interesting really how we are developing our business…having found a distributor in North America, and about to do the same in Australasia…and looking for more in other regions. We are really lucky that we don’t really have any competitors. Yes, there are a few people in the social media strategy & social selling space but most of those are either micro businesses or businesses that work at the bottom end of the market. However, there is one competitor, a competitor that you probably face in your industry and that competitor is DIY (do it yourself).
Many companies think that they can implement a social selling strategy themselves and in theory they can. Whilst we do have some intellectual property and techniques that we use, the information is, of course, in the public domain. Many companies think that they can take this information and deploy it themselves…but they probably can’t.
The truth of the matter is that social selling, like traditional selling, requires changing behaviours rather than just knowledge transfer. Like with traditional sales training – Miller Heiman, Richardson or Sandler – the value that these training programmes bring is seldom in what they teach the students (because most students probably know all of the facts), the value is in the change that they leave with the students. But with social selling there is another layer.
We are proud to say that our social selling training has that additional layer.
Some programmes contain the facts. Some programmes build a different behaviour. But only our programme builds empowerment and this is they key. We are the only company that does this.
We can do this because the Digital Leadership Associates people who conduct the training are real experts. They can walk the walk as well as talk the talk. This is, amazingly, rare. You can see this yourself when you check-out the trainer that you’re going to be working with.
Now, it’s worth saying that numbers are NOT everything.
If I have 3000 followers and you “only” have 2500 that doesn’t not mean that I am necessarily better than you, but when you add together all of the variables it should be pretty clear who really understands it and thinks that it is important who who is merely paying lip service to it. So you need to look at the following things for the person that’s going to be standing up in front of your teams…
- do they have a photo
- do they have a catchy headline
- do they have a summary section
- have they got a comprehensive back-story…and do you want to read it
- do they have a big network (a few thousand rather than a few hundred)
- do they have recommendations
- how many articles have they written
- are the constantly online engaging that audience
- do they have a photo
- do they have some detail in the profile
- how many followers do they have
- how often do they tweet
- does anyone interact with the tweets (retweets, likes, comments)
- do they have a youtube channel
- are they on other networks (with some history on there)
- do they blog regularly
- do they produce video content
If after looking at these things it doesn’t look like they have lived and breathed social media for quite some time…then they probably haven’t. And if they haven’t you should think really carefully as to whether you should be paying them money and wasting your sales team’s time by taking them off the road to go through any kind of programme.
Increasingly we are seeing large consultancies’ “digital” arms trying to get in to this space…but it is the blind leading the blind. If you are considering investing in social selling (and you certainly should) make very sure that the people who will be standing in front of your sales teams are as good as they should be to drive a different behaviour through road-hardened salespeople otherwise not only are you wasting your time and money…you might make a change much more difficult to achieve in the future.
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