We took advantage of our relationship with social selling expert Julio Viskovich and decided to ask him a few questions about the field of social selling.
Not too long ago, we announced that t2 had teamed up with NexLevel Sales. Recently, we decided to reach out to the Forbes-ranked social selling expert Julio Viskovich, who heads up the NexLevel team. We wanted to get some detailed insights into a few questions around the concept of social selling. So, we decided to go to a renowned expert to get the answers.
How exactly would you define social selling, and what would you say are the biggest differences between social selling and conventional sales?
Social selling is interesting because it hasn’t quite been defined. The other part of it is that I see it as a separate entity from traditional selling only temporarily. What I mean by that is that I expect it to just become selling. It’s simply just the best way to sell and until it get utilized properly by the masses, we will have to continue to refer to it as social selling.
So to answer your question, social selling is utilizing social media and social to connect with prospects in the right place, with the right message, at the right time. Prospects are leaving hints about themselves and their business – be there to follow the trail.
Why do you think social selling is so much more effective than traditional sales practices?
Social selling is much more effective than traditional means because it provides salespeople with a mountain of information that they never had access to before. This means getting to know prospects better, building a relationship faster, creating instant rapport, and ultimately shortening the sales cycle.
Do you think there is one industry in particular where social selling will be more effective, or would you say it’s universal? Why?
Social selling definitely works better when you’re dealing with an industry that has adopted technology and social media. For example, technology companies like IBM, Oracle, Dell and others are encouraging most of their workforce to be on social media versus a manufacturing company who aren’t on board yet.
Have you found that there is a particular demographic that is more responsive to social selling than others?
I find that organizations that are leaders and innovators are the ones that are most responsive to social selling. This generally seems to include leadership teams that are tech savvy and concerned about improving processes. Older more traditional leadership teams, like many of us, are afraid of what they don’t know and are taking a more risk-averse approach and waiting until the entire mainstream market adopts it. In my opinion, the early bird gets the worm.
How can salespeople get started with social selling? What would you say is the most important habit to adopt?
Salespeople should get started and I recommend the following first steps:
1) Identify which social networks your prospects are one. Taking a buyer persona and mapping it back through demographics should tell you which networks they’re on.
2) The next step is to get on these networks and build out a professional and visually appealing profile.
3) Start listening. Spend two weeks observing the lingo and etiquette of each network and, if possible, access to training around these networks.
4) Share info that is valuable to your prospects and be there for them when they are asking questions. Don’t worry about creating content, there are myriads of it online. Be useful by sharing news and trusted industry info and insights.