social selling examples boost sales

5 Real World Examples of Social Selling to Boost Your Sales

10 December 2020

Everyone wants to boost sales and prospect efficiently, and with 80 percent of leads sourced from LinkedIn in 2019 alone, there's going to be some tough competition when it comes down to social selling.

How do you stand out among a crowd of B2B sales professionals

We're going to answer this question by analyzing 5 examples of social selling that work, with advice straight from the industry experts themselves. 

Note: Want to amplify your lead generation efforts with social selling? Sign up for Leadfeeder’s free 14-day free trial to track your lead's digital footprints on your website.

Here are 5 examples of social selling to help improve your sales 

1. Optimize your LinkedIn profile

When you receive a connection on LinkedIn, what's the first thing you do? 

Check out their profile, of course! 

Most B2B prospects will have a look at your profile before accepting your connection. If it looks bad or it doesn’t make sense to connect, they won’t.

Online connections are made in much the same way as they are in the real world; first impressions count. 

You need to think of your LinkedIn profile as your personal ad space for selling yourself and your business. This means stepping into your ideal client's shoes and asking yourself: 

  • Does my profile look credible? 

  • Does my content provide valuable insights for my target market? 

The more optimised your profile, the more it will show up in search results and the more traction you'll get. For a stand out profile, you'll need: 

  • A professional photo.

  • A great background banner - why not use the space to advertise your company or product?

  • A summary that tells people who you are, what you do and how to get in contact with you in as clear and concise a way as possible. 

During Cognism's recent social selling webinar, Tara Jackson, a Senior Consultant at Venatrix said: 

"Make sure your bio is personalised for the customer you want and what you do is clear. The clearer your bio the more likely you’ll gain good prospects. If you’re too vague, you’ll get vague inquiries."

personalized linkedin profile

2. Be targeted with your LinkedIn connections

Once your profile is optimised, you can start connecting with people.

Here’s the good news... 

According to LinkedIn, 76 percent of buyers are ready to have a conversation with you. However, that doesn't mean you should start selling right away. 

First, engage with your prospects' content and make a real connection with them.

Why should you play it this way? 

Remember this stat: studies have shown it increases the likelihood of a response by 62 percent.  

Now, here's the kicker: best practice is to add no more than 30 people a day. 

Why only 30 people? 

Firstly, LinkedIn will ban you if you mass-connect. Secondly, it doesn't look great to just add people without any real reason behind the connection. Tara put it best: 

"You need a genuine reason for connecting with people rather than just scrolling through LinkedIn pressing, add, add, add because then you’ll have a whole bunch of people on your profile who don’t care what you’re doing.”

And you want people to care about what you're doing on LinkedIn. It's how you extend your reach, create brand awareness and generate quality leads.

targeted linkedin connection

3. Share quality content on a daily basis

If you want to achieve outbound sales success on LinkedIn, creating a strong content strategy is key.

More than half of your customer loyalty comes from your ability to deliver content that's both insightful and valuable. 

So, for the best engagement, you need to post at least once a day and your content should be a variety of selling, without being too pitchy, and more informal posts that are relevant, tell a story and hook people with charisma.

Think about your objective: 

How do you want your customers to feel when they see your posts? 

You don't want to annoy them, you want them to engage and to build a trusting relationship with your brand. 

In Cognism's social selling webinar, LinkedIn wizard Daniel Disney offered his content formula for social selling success: 

“You’ll need to find that sweet spot between personal and professional when sharing your content. People buy from people, they want to know you, so share personal stories every now and again but make sure they have meaning. For instance, if you do share a pic at the bar, the context behind it could be that you’re celebrating a big achievement at work.”

quality content linkedin

4. Interact with your prospects for credibility and trust 

If you want to prospect smoothly, gain your prospects' trust. 

How do you achieve this? 

Daniel recommends: 

“Create a stand out profile and back it up with a great content strategy by sharing content of value. People will respect and recommend you, even if they've never bought from you just because of what you’ve shared.”

The more you interact with your prospects, the better your relationship becomes. 

Building a strong network by commenting, sharing and reacting to their content will go a long way, not only in building trust with your prospect, but by encouraging them to refer you to others too. 

After all, as every SaaS sales rep knows, referrals are great leads because they’re more likely to convert and close faster than the average.

It doesn’t end there, though...

Your prospects aren’t the only people you should be interacting with. The more you get your name out there, the better!

Here’s some advice:

If you don't have anything to post that day, a simple reshare with your thoughts on the content can get great engagement. 

Tag your prospects if the content is relevant. 

In this way, other LinkedIn users will come to respect your opinion and come to you when they need advice on your area of expertise. 

A word of warning: don't reshare for the sake of it!

If you share without commenting with your own opinion or copy and paste someone else's post, you're showing your prospects that you don't feel like putting in the effort. 

This means that your credibility will go down. 

Plus no one wants to see the same thing shared over and over again.

5. Dare to be different when starting conversations 

When everyone uses the same template to send outbound prospecting messages, it gets boring fast. Most prospects hit delete as soon as they see the opening line. 

So how can you be different?

Easy, stay natural and make your prospect feel special by crafting an original message that shows you've done your research. 

This can be as simple as tailoring the message to include a post they shared and your thoughts on it. 

Secondly, don’t talk about how great you are. Your prospects are always sharing information; every one of their LinkedIn posts tells you something about what they’re looking for. 

The best salespeople don’t talk about themselves, but others. Show your prospects how your product or service will add value to their life and solve their pain points.

Another good tactic that’ll make you stand out from the crowd:

Send a video message or a voice note. Focus especially on your first 10 seconds - this is what will hook your prospect.

Here's one final tip to consider from Cognism’s Senior Business Development Executive,  William Gay.

“Don’t make your salutations too formal or personal. Just use their first name because I can tell you now, the only time I’ve been called Mr is in phishing emails, and you don't want your prospect to think you're trying to scam them!”

Whatever way you choose to communicate, make sure it’s personalised, relevant and helpful.

Social selling takeaways

The key takeaways here are to make sure you're always professional and approachable. Do your research, be engaging and conversational. 

Most importantly - don't overthink social selling! Make it a part of your daily routine and you’ll soon reap the rewards.

Want more tips on outbound prospecting?

Cognism has released this nifty free playbook that’s filled with the best tactics, processes and advice for building a predictable outbound machine.

Grab your copy today to start fuelling the growth of your business. 

Download Playbook

Note: Want to amplify your lead generation efforts with social selling? Sign up for Leadfeeder’s free 14-day free trial to track your lead's digital footprints on your website.

Joe Barron
By Joe Barron

Joe is the Content Manager for Cognism. His ability to adapt to different styles of writing defines him as a smart and creative wordsmith. He graduated from the College of Media and Publishing in 2018.

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