With email reply rates and cold call connection rates continuing to decrease, introducing alternative methods of outreach like social selling could be a wise decision.
In this article, we outline 5 steps that SDRs can take to start social selling and book more meetings. For the purposes of this guide, we will be focusing on LinkedIn, however, these strategies can be applied across other social media sites.
A few quick tips before we get started:
- Make sure your LinkedIn profile is filled out completely. Have a quality profile picture, headline, and summary
- In the company section of your profile, provide a short description of what your company does and what problems they solve
- Don’t give up too quickly. Social selling takes weeks, if not months to start working
- Have fun with it! Your prospects are people too!
Step 1: Understand Your Audience
If your audience is on social media, then start to take a look at the content they engage with. Are there any industry influencers that they follow? Do they follow a particular company? What type of content do they engage with?
By answering these questions you’ll have a better understanding of what type of content you can start to post (more on that later) and comment on.
Step 2: Building Your Social Selling Audience
Now that you understand the audience, it’s time to build out and connect with your audience.
Find your ICP in the search bar, and connect with as many of them as LinkedIn lets you. LinkedIn sets limits for the number of people you can connect with on a weekly basis. Make sure you max this out and set time aside each week to continually build your audience. Don’t waste time engaging with inactive LinkedIn accounts, check to see if they have any LinkedIn activity within the last ninety days.
See how Ron has no activity? Not a good prospect. Avoid reaching out to inactive accounts
It’s best if you send them a personalized note about why you’re reaching out. Did you see their comment on a post? Did you see them like a post related to your industry? If possible, find a reason to reach out to them. Although we understand that this isn’t always possible. Blank connection requests are okay, but only if you can’t find anything else.
Step 3: Engage with Your Prospects’ Content
Now that you’ve started to build your audience, the next step is to engage with them. If you see them comment or post, engage with the content! This is not the time to be salesy, this is the time to provide additional insight, ask questions, or leave a comment that gets you noticed.
The art of commenting on LinkedIn is oftentimes more powerful than posting. The ultimate goal is to get them to remember your name.
Side note: A common mistake that SDRs make is that they post SDR-related content on LinkedIn. This can be great, but it only works for social selling if you sell to other salespeople. If you sell into other industries, it’s best that you keep posts focused on what they care about.
Keep in mind that salespeople are much more active on LinkedIn than others, so don’t be discouraged if your posts and comments don’t have a high level of engagement compared to others.
Step 4: Send Them a Direct Message
After you’ve engaged with a prospect a few times, send them a direct message and ask their perspective on something related to the industry.
It could be a clarifying message regarding a post they liked, their experience working with industry tools, or anything that would elicit a response. Again, the goal here isn’t to pitch them your product, the goal is simply to get them to engage and remember who you are.
Step 5: Pick up the Phone
Once you’ve had a positive interaction with your prospect through a direct message, give them a call! It’s much easier to call somebody if they already know who you are. This is where you can ask for the meeting!
Think of these social selling steps as a funnel. The more people you can get in at the top of the funnel, the more people you will have at the bottom of the funnel. More people at the bottom of the funnel means more meetings! Happy social selling!