Today I want to share with you some highlights of special blog post series “Social Selling Experts” featured by Adaptive Business Services I was honored to be selected and interviewed by Craig Jamieson.
Craig has done a wonderful job of showcasing and spotlighting several industry sales leaders like Eric Quanstrom, Michaela Prouzova, Richard Young, Barbara Giamanco, Larry Levine, Amar Sheth to name a few. I encourage you to checkout Craig’s blog for solid insight on social and selling today,
My Interview with Craig and Adaptive Business Services
Could you please tell our readers a little about you?
Craig, I will put it in Lehman’s Terms. I am a passionate Sales and Marketing Guy that leverages Social Video and Sales to generate results. I have carried a bag, traveled, trained and been in the sales profession most of my life. Working for, and supporting, companies and organizations like IBM, Sun Microsystems, Cisco, The Coca-Cola Company to name a few. I currently work as Sales Video Consultant delivering video marketing programs that utilize social selling and brand awareness campaigns. Other passions include video blogging and reading up on the latest technology trends in sales, marketing, sports, and entertainment.
How about telling them a little bit about your business?
I specialize in video blogging projects, sales training videos, client testimonials and video interview spotlights for authors, trainers, speakers, business owners and entrepreneurs. The art of storytelling with a fresh and candid perspective for your clients to conceptualize, visualize, and recognize from B2B and B2C.
How did you get started in selling and when did you begin adding social selling to your business?
I started selling from the day I wanted to influence others on my point of view. The natural progression was to major in Marketing and start my professional career in sales. I started leveraging social when I joined LinkedIn back in 2007 which was followed up with me using an online personal branding tool called Visual CV, a personal branding resume site. The next logical step was to create a website and video blog followed by Twitter, YouTube Channels, etc.
Ironically, SOCIAL selling did not come into play until I left the corporate world. I was on a mission of personal branding and career transition. I would have loved to leverage social networking and tools back in the day when I was employed by corporate companies like IBM etc. Now Social Selling and Social Media Marketing are a part of my customer engagement and sales process.
What are your social selling goals, objectives, and strategies?
My goal is simple in Lehman’s Terms, Deliver Value to my clients and grow revenue. Objectives are reached by having a plan and strategy for building relationships with a purpose. It comes down to positioning, developing social proof, and becoming a go to resource and subject matter expert. Can you provide a solution and solve a problem in your social community. It’s important to share and deliver social content but context is just as important. Connecting with your targeted audience, collaborating, and building meaningful relationships take work, time, and effort and the strategic focus should be helping and serving others socially. My mantra is always striving to bring value to my network by actively learning new procedures that can affect positive change. Social Selling goes both ways from personal sales development and maintaining and growing social relationships.
Do you have regular routines (touches, frequencies, etc.)?
I wish I had a more systematic and process driven approach. I block out time each day to research and monitor my current social connections and future prospects. This is usually an hour time frame each day. I consider this time the social listening and social watching hour. The second phase is building rapport with prospects through social shares, posts, invites, and touch points across multiple social channels. In some cases I will share a social personalized video greeting. Video interaction is the next best thing to being there and helps with building rapport.
The main routine for engagement is establishing which action items and connections are priorities each day. I try to focus on business revenue and being popular among clients that write and pay the check.
Could you please share with us a few of your favorite social selling tools? (please feel free to say why you have chosen them and how you use them, if you wish).
Ok, the obvious tools are utilizing social networking sites, like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blogging, online newsletters and then there are social engagement tools for monitoring and distribution, Hootsuite, Feedly, Buffer, Nimble and Sales Navigator to name a few. All these tools and platforms are awesome for engagement and research.
If I am doing research I go to old school direct search on Google or Bing. My favorite search is YouTube. When it comes to social listening, check that, I mean social watching, I look at Video, company created video channels, doing searches on YouTube, Vimeo etc. Watching and engaging with video provides more customer engagement it’s more personable, authentic, resourceful, and saves time. Visualize your research with visual social proof in Lehman’s Terms.
Video – My Favorite Social Selling Platform and Tool is leveraging Video Channels for Social Research and Customer engagement.
How do you integrate social selling with traditional selling methodologies?
Great question, I believe that leveraging social as a tool helps enable the sale process in many ways. Social expedites the sales cycle with discovery, building relationships, and post sales activity from prospecting, lead generation to customer advocacy. We still have to utilize traditional selling methods, the phone, emails, customer visits etc. More importantly, to be successful you have to know how to sell and communicate with your buyer. Social is another access and touch point with your customers. Let’s face it, your customers are using to social for research and buying, sales, and marketing must adjust socially.
How do you manage to stand out from the noise?
The truth will set you free by conveying value and insight above the obvious. It’s about social proof, and advanced credibility and earning that bonding level of trust with your customers and future clients. Do you have testimonials, case studies that resonate with your customers showing value? Can you demonstrate why your business, product, or service is unique and will it solve your customer problems or solutions. It’s also effective to build internal relationships and establish referrals with customers to champion your cause, referral selling to decision makers.
What do you feel are the biggest challenges facing salespeople as it pertains to social selling?
A big challenge is not adapting and embracing social for business today. Another challenge is thinking that leveraging social networks is quick a fix, short cuts, to sales engagement and it replaces sales best practices and sales acumen. You still have to deliver value and insight and social tools are good for touch points but sending sales messages with no value or context can be detrimental and be viewed as online social spam. Another challenge is not being trained correctly in social by having no validity or social proof. Your online persona and digital footprint is extremely important in doing business today.
What about their biggest mistake that salespeople make when trying to implement social selling?
Lack of sales training and understanding of how social works in the sales process. No sales plan or training. Not implementing the ideal social channel and social network for your customers and prospects. Socially engage and provide value where your customers are.
What is your “social selling superpower”?
Understanding the how and why buyers buy via social listening and social watching.
How can our readers get in touch with you to learn more?
Google Me “Doug Lehman Video”
Follow me on Twitter @douglehman
Websites & Blogs DougLehman.com SocialSellingVideo.com