Social media’s presence in the sales world is an old story by now, but the latest figures suggest its power in the space is stronger than you might think.
It makes sense when you think about how drastically social has changed other areas of work and life. The question is, how can we use our social tools to better meet those expectations in our client relationships?
Here are some of the most interesting figures about a LinkedIn study along with some steps you can take to incorporate these new ideas into your daily sales work.
1. Social media should be your go-to destination for learning about potential customers.
The study noted that 94 percent of the respondents said they get “valuable insights” about customers from social networks. So if you’re not immediately hitting the social networks to research potential customers, you’re doing your sales relationships a disservice.
2. Buyers prefer to work with salespeople that already have a social-media presence.
You’ve heard stories about recruiters scanning candidates’ social-media profiles before interviews. Turns out, potential buyers use that practice, too. Over half (62 percent) of the study’s respondents said they look for “an informative LinkedIn profile” when they consider talking with a specific salesperson. Meanwhile, 69 percent of Millennial buyers are more likely to connect with salespeople who have a professional online presence.
Those figures boil down to a simple conclusion: Your professional social networking is hugely important to your job.
3. Buyers care more about trust than price.
One of the most surprising things in this study was that today’s buyers appear to value trust over price, strategic counsel, or even return on investment (ROI).
Thirty-nine percent of respondents answered that “trust in our relationship” was the most important factor for closing a deal, while only 33 percent answered “return on investment,” and only 13 percent answered “price.”
4. Social media builds transparency, and transparency builds trust.
The study found 43 percent of respondents view salespeople as “trustworthy,” 31 percent say they have “high integrity,” and buyers increasingly consider salespeople to be “trusted advisers.”
Those facts mark a positive shift in our perception of salespeople, who too often get stereotyped as aggressive frat boys willing to sacrifice morals and integrity for a dollar.
But if you want to be seen as a trusted adviser, your behavior has to live up to the label. That’s especially true on social media, where potential customers can view every click, Like, and post you make.