Social Selling Customer Curation Begins with Listening with Both Ears & No Mouth
Curation is about gathering or curating engagement with others and sharing ideas. Here are some ideas for how curation is critical to your business. Curation provide the means for:
– Customer engagement – revenue
– Customer lead generation – revenue
– Customer support – “must have” – costs
– Customer feedback – business continuation
If you look at each one of them they are all important to either increasing revenues, reducing costs or business resiliency. All too often business want to “talk first and listen last.” In sales training, it is often really hard to get the sales person to shut up and listen to what the customer is saying. Rather, sales people like to talk about how great their solution is without ever listening to what the customer needs. One of the interesting parts of B2B social selling is that on Twitter and Linkedin there are so many people talking you better have something really important to say otherwise you will get drowned out with all the other tweet pollution. If you want to really engage then engage with customers Twitter/Linkedin accounts listen to what they are saying. Then engage with them on their level, their issues, industry, challenges and needs. Starting with listening you can have a better impact than just talking all the time about yourself.
Social listening is another element in becoming a CXO leader. Social listen can provide:
– Access to trending global issues
– Emerging business/tech trends
– Industry outlook
– Events – search for the #hastags to find out who’s post and what they are saying
– Competitive insights
– Customer challenges
In B2B selling the company you sell to is often selling to others as well. You can see via their own social media presence what they are saying about themselves, how they are or not engaging with their customers. You can also explore what kind of “thought leadership” strategy they are executing. If you want to sell to them, help them sell to their customers. It is really easy to retweet their posts but also more importantly to review their content, find something of interest and write your own custom Twitter post about how they are solving (their) customer needs. You can be a social “fan club” leader for them. Of course, you can easily add-in how their solutions and yours can make things even better for everyone involved. One might think you do this with some finesse and not just the hard sell, however, you can introduce how your “tires” help their car drive faster, better, safer. You can also share with them via DM-direct messages insights you may have on competitive inroads, trends to cover and ideas to help them sell faster, farther, deeper.
Summary – Social listening is really the first part of social selling. We have “two ears and one mouth” and should always remember that in not just selling but selling through listening. One other issue is that through your own efforts you will often find customers not on you leads lists who see how your solutions can be of benefit to them as well.