Construction professionals who'd rather be ahead of the curve than chasing it would be smart to start including social media as part of their daily or weekly tasks. Social selling is the process of researching, connecting, and interacting with prospects and customers on social media networks -- notably LinkedIn for our industry, but others certainly fit the bill. Through commenting on, liking, and sharing prospects’ and customers’ posts, salespeople create relationships with buyers and boost their credibility by taking an interest in what they’re interested in.
Instead of a hard closing tactic, social selling more closely resembles lead nurturing. You have to be willing to put in the time and effort to engage with your target customers on an ongoing basis.
One of the most significant perceived hurdles to adopting social media for your business is that is takes too much time. How can my team keep up with their buyers on LinkedIn and Twitter when they’re also trying to, you know, work?
Like anything else, developing a routine around social selling will cut down on the time commitment. An infographic by Ben Martin walks readers through such a process that only requires a half hour per day. Martin recommends following a 12 step plan every morning:
- Find content to share (could be industry news from a media outlet, or a blog post about a topic that interests you, a media release from your business)
- Share it to social networks (including facebook, linkedin, twitter, google plus etc).
- Check on who’s viewed your LinkedIn profile
- Send a connection request to any target buyers who looked at your profile
- Look at who liked or commented on your posts
- Send connection requests to people who engaged with your content
- Review LinkedIn alerts
- Organize “hot” buyers in a LinkedIn folder
- Share content with hot buyers
- Review any additional trigger event alerts
- Respond to messages
- Create a handful of new conversations
If you're new to using social media for your construction company, this may seem a little overwhelming. But we promise you that any effort you put in will be worth it. So why bother? It's proven that those who play the long game reap the rewards.
- According to research from Social Centered Selling and A Sales Guy, 72.6% of salespeople who incorporated social media into their process outperformed their colleagues. In addition, socially savvy reps beat their quotas 23% more often.
- An Aberdeen study corroborates these findings. A 2012 survey revealed that 64% of teams using social selling attained their quota, as compared to 49% of teams that hadn’t incorporated social media into their sales processes. Sales organizations using social selling also boasted a better customer renewal rate and sales forecast accuracy.
- After adopting social selling practices and LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator, marketing software company Eloqua decreased their average sales cycle time by 20 days, and boosted the rate of leads converting to opportunities by 25%.
- Social selling also makes it easier for sales reps to get referrals within their LinkedIn networks. And referrals have a much higher close rate than the average sale -- approximately 50%, according to NoMoreColdCalling.com.
So how do you know what to talk about ? What are 'hot' topics right now in construction and mining? Which services are being searched for in your area? You can learn all that and more with our free guide to Google Keywords, a simple and easy to use tool to make sure you're staying relevant.