I don’t consider myself old, but I am starting to waver on that belief after reading this Selling Power article. I started selling back in the days before cell phones and Internet, when the fax machine was viewed as such a timesaver. Frightening by today’s standards.
The article identifies 4 selling skills you need in today’s socially-connected world. Here are the first 3:
- Social Listening
- Social Researching
- Social Networking
Those 3 are critical and hopefully most salespeople are aware of these needed skills. However, the 4th point is most interesting:
4. Social Engaging
This is the newest skill for sellers. Consequently, it holds the biggest competitive advantage for sellers who master it quickly. There are two types of social-engagement actions:
- Commenting on someone else’s post
- Initiating a post
I agree with the Social Engaging activity – the majority of sales that I encounter are relationship-based. The transactional sales have moved to more automated channels. The relationship sale is difficult to initiate by phone or email. But an online conversation…that is a back door to initiate the relationship. I also appreciate the thought-leader aspect of it. If you are able to provide some value-add to the conversation, you instantly frame the relationship in a favorable (for the salesperson) light.