James Carbary

Founder at Sweet Fish Media

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6 Steps to Social Selling with Gabe Villamizar

James Carbary

Founder at Sweet Fish Media

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6 Steps to Social Selling with Gabe Villamizar Like it or not, the way you connect with your buyers is changing. What used to be a phone call is now a tweet or LinkedIn update. If you’re not careful, the sheer volume of social media channels can be overwhelming. The important question to ask is: How can you utilize these power tools to their fullest potential? We sat down with Gabe Villamizar, the Social Selling Director at HireVue, and he laid out his 6-step process for social selling success.

1) Understand What Social Selling is

Social media is full of buzzwords. Tweets, snaps, posts, likes, the list goes on. It can be easy to get lost in the noise, but if you understand social media you’ll easily grasp social selling. Hubspot defines social selling as salespeople using social media to interact directly with their prospects.

It is crucial that social media is embraced from the executive level down. If your VPs are bought in, it’s far more likely that the rest of your organization is going to buy in as well.

2) Profile Optimization

Imagine you had a 2-minute video that shared a compelling story about your company. Pretty great, right? Now imagine if every person in your company posted that video on their LinkedIn or Twitter profile, and pinned the video at the top of those pages so that it was the first thing people saw.

Given that sales reps tend to average around fifty to seventy LinkedIn views per week, imagine the reach. Remember, your LinkedIn profile is not your resume, it is your online reputation.

Just think of what could happen if everybody in your company had their profiles optimized for selling.

3) Social Listening

Listen, listen, listen. This goes without saying, but you need to learn everything you can about your buyers by utilizing every possible application and network. Know where your buyers are spending time, and understand that with an ever-changing social landscape, the way that you sell must adapt as well.

Applications like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck will allow you to find out who is talking about what, what hashtags they’re using most, who they’re connecting with, and what’s important to them. This will allow you to develop a customized selling plan for those specific buyers.

If you’re a smaller company, think about adopting one tool and baking that into the selling process so that everybody is on the same page. For larger companies, present your sales reps with a library of tools and allow them to tailor their own process.

4) Develop a 3×3

Research doesn’t have to be time-consuming to be effective. An easy and effective research model is to find a 3×3: 3 things about your buyer in 3 minutes or less. Something personal, something about their business, and something about their industry. Again, this is all about listening on the right channels.

Once you’ve found that data, you can construct a predictive social selling model tailored specifically towards that buyer. There are a lot of tools out there, but in particular, one worth noting is Nova. Nova looks at social media networks and creates a customized, science-driven approach crafting unique messages to your buyers.

5) Social Commitment

How do you get out of the social media friend zone? You have to be able to take that relationship that you’ve established online to the next level. To take it offline and close the deal. Remember, if you never get out of the social media friend zone, you’ll never see any action.

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6) Tracking Social Selling

We don’t measure ROI of phone calls. They just work, they’re proven. Social selling, however, is still new enough that it needs to be tracked. Tracking metrics will allow you to look at a deal and know, “Was this influenced by social media?”

Successful selling is about recognizing opportunity, adapting as needed, and being able to take a relationship from introduction to deal. With Gabe’s process, your Social Selling process can go from something that may be an afterthought to something at the top of every sale’s reps tool kit.

This post is based on an interview with Gabe Villamizar from Hire Vue. You can find this interview, and many more, by subscribing to the B2B Growth Show on iTunes.

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