From August 17 to 19, 2016, PGi held its annual sales conference, STAGEnext, which featured a keynote address by the widely-regarded salesperson and social selling extraordinaire, Jill Rowley. In her keynote speech, Rowley shared valuable selling insights and tips for the contemporary salesperson. The following is an overview of Rowley’s keynote speech.
A successful salesperson is an adaptable salesperson, one who can evolve to meet the shifting demands and changing practices of the industry. As a result of the ‘always on’ environment of contemporary technology, the modern buyer is digitally driven, mobile enabled, socially connected and empowered to do their own research. At a very basic level, selling to such educated buyers means that smart, modern sellers must utilize every tool to garner insights and be relevant to a buyer in order to build a lasting relationship that drives revenue.
Technology is an essential sales tool, and all sales reps, regardless of quotas or territories, can (and should) adopt technology best practices into their day-to-day routine.
The Modern Buyer
According to Jill Rowley, we currently exist in the Age of the Customer, not the Age of the Seller. In the modern sales environment, customers have more choice and a louder voice, largely due to the agency provided by social platforms. 92% of modern buyers start their search on the web; online research and social selling, therefore, are more of a necessity than an option if you’re going to perform well in the sales world.
Social selling is all about ‘social proximity’ or the proverbial degrees of separation between you and your prospective buyer. Consumers are 71% more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals, a statistic that truly hits home just how important it is to build relationships with customers and potential customers through social networking.
Making Yourself Relevant to the Buyer
With so many others vying for the attention of your prospective buyers, you have to make yourself stand out. How exactly do you do that? By making yourself relevant to the buyer.
You have to be interested to be interesting, and you have to make a concerted effort to personalize your approach and tailor your strategy to the specific needs and interests of each unique customer. The ease of social media can facilitate laziness and de-personalization from a sales perspective; engaging with potential customers goes far beyond simply pressing a button or sending a message en masse.
Take the time to do research into your future customers. Express genuine interest in your potential buyer and you will be relevant to them. Make them feel unique and you will go from being just another salesperson trying to close a deal to being a trusted advocate who has a vested interest in their wants and needs.
People want outcomes, not products, and if you can prove to your potential customers that you are invested in making a difference and creating an outcome that will make their life easier and more efficient, you will foster a relationship that will endure and flourish over time.
Looking to up your social selling game? Follow Jill Rowley on Twitter and LinkedIn to learn more about mastering the art of social selling and making yourself standout to your potential buyers.