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Feb. 4, 2015

96: 5 Things You Need for a Successful Social Selling Infrastructure

96: 5 Things You Need for a Successful Social Selling Infrastructure

Neal has talked a lot about the benefits of social selling and some of you are farther down the road of creating a successful social selling program than others. Social allows you to create connections faster and contact prospects you otherwise might not have been able to. If you haven’t started your social selling journey yet, this week Neal wants to help you begin. It can seem overwhelming, but Neal breaks it down, starting by creating the infrastructure and leveraging LinkedIn profiles, connections, recommendations and groups. 

Transcript

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welcome to maximize your social actionable 10 minute advice on how your business can maximize your social media presence. Now the host of Maximize Your Social Social Media Author, speaker, consultant, founder of Maximize Social Business, The Social Media Centre of Excellence and the Social Tool Summit. Neil Schaefer. Everybody, this is Neil Schaefer, and you are listening to maximize your social. I had a great week last week. I hope you all did as well, and now it is. February 2015 were the second month ended a year, and I don't know about you, but it's been an extremely busy first part of the year, which is good. Last week actually did a social selling workshop for a corporate client in Baltimore, Maryland, where, despite what they said, there really wasn't that much snow. But I know my business partner from Social Tool Summit is still digging out a snow from Boston today as we speak so today with that comment that I was doing a social setting workshop last week, I want to talk a little bit about a social selling infrastructure because I go through and it happens almost every time I do it now, when I talk about social selling, I'm talking specifically in my own background. To be to be sales executive has helped shape my view of social selling. But social selling is not social media marketing, you know, selling marketing sort of the same. It is equipping your salespeople with using social media as another tool in their toolbox to help them do whatever. Salespeople. D'oh! Find your leads. Get referrals, introductions into organizations, map out organizations try to close deals faster, try to get more money for deals or whatever it might be. So that's what it's about, adding social media to the sales Persons toolkit. And as I like to say, Social media replaces nothing but compliments everything. And this is a great example. Outside of, you know, PR corporate communications marketing, where social media can definitely help salespeople. And there's already a few different data. Points out that if you do a search, you'll find the data. That also suggests that those sales people that are using social media end up meeting the quota as well as outselling the appears more often than not. Now there's a lot that goes into the social. Something works out that I talk about and I can't go through everything because this is obviously a short podcast. And obviously the content that I deliver for my client has always customized for their particular situation because every customer really is unique in their internal culture. In the people in their sales team, that sales management, how they aligned or are lined with marketing and, in general, there understanding an aptitude of social media. I have some clients where outside of one or two or three salespeople, none of them are on linked in or they just built the profile did nothing. On the other hand, I go to some clients where a majority of our salespeople already signed up to Sales Navigator or a premium LinkedIn account. So, really, just is whenever I start a speech in social media and say, Hey, you know, one of my two speaking rules is that there is no embarrassing social media question because if you've been working 9 to 5 and you haven't had time for social media, this has just come and gone over your head. You might have no clue what's going on, and I told you, Get that now. The listeners of this podcast. I think you're all a little bit more experienced social media professionals. But nevertheless, I know some of you are still beginners and are looking for insight. So this is gonna be that inside geared towards a general situation of I have a sales team. What are the things we should be doing? Visa be social selling. So I look at it as a twofold problem. Now I understand the mentality of salespeople. They're busy. They don't want to do extra work. They want to spend as much time as possible with clients we're talking to. People are closing deals so they don't want extra stuff being burdened on them. Right? So there's two things you need to dio. One of them is in light of. I don't wanna be burdened by things. There's a little bit of time I'm going to get any to spend just once, and I call it the infrastructure Phase. Preparing yourself for social selling that requires you to do some things. It doesn't require a whole day of work, but it's gonna require an hour, too. But once you do it, the beauty is you just sit back. You don't have to worry about it and you don't do it again. Maybe you check up on it every quarter, every six months every year, but something you don't need to waste your time on. So what I'm speaking about specifically in this case is Well, I should say our five things So your social sudden infrastructure begins with your LinkedIn profile. We all know that Maur business decision makers use Lincoln for professional purposes than any other social network. Right? So with that in mind, everything you do within that Lincoln environment, all is gonna think back to your profile. That's what your profile and I always say. It's like your website for your professional career. It really is. And you think about the amount of money that from small businesses to enterprises that invest in their website K. You needto really put an hour of investment into your profile. Because if you're a six figure salary executive or even making you know 35 50 grand in an entry level position, that's a lot of money. And if your Lincoln profiles your home page, you deserve a few $100 toe. Hire someone part timer to spend an hour two of your time, which is probably worth that much money to think of the key words and all the other things you need to do to optimize your Lincoln profile. So not step number one step Number two is in connecting your database. The power of LinkedIn is of the hidden connections that exist between you and second degree and beyond connections. It was Thomas Power who first said, Well, the 1st 1 I ever heard say the value of networking is in networking outside of people in your network because you already know the people in your network. But you connect with them, are linked in That's great, but it's who they know. And I always you know, I give some specific examples when I do my workshops. But I may be best friends of the CEO of a company that you've been trying to sell to, and you may be best friends with the CEO of a company not been trying to sell to, and that's just the way it works. Way all move around in our life, and we never know where the people we parted with in college. You know, our roommates, people in the high school with people that we started out working with 125 10 2025 30 years ago. You never know where they end up in life. But once you connect with your database in Lincoln, you've now created a way of always being able to contact them, regardless of their email changes and discovering those hidden connections when we do the advanced people search make sense. Awesome. I don't expect you to answer that or be able to hear your answer, but let's move on. Number three Recommendations. Social Proof. Lincoln's full of fake profiles. It's almost like saying you're successful company without showing logos of customers or not having any proof that you're successful. So if you've been at it 10 20 years in your career and you don't have any recommendations, I'm sorry there's something wrong, right? You should be able to contact your ex. Report to contact colleagues, reach out any professional associations you're a member of, and people say, Hey, you know, having a few recommendations on my LinkedIn profile is really important to me. I hope that you can spend a minute of your time to recommend me, and if you need any of my help. This is a reminder as to how I helped your organization or what I did for you way back when. So, in order to get recommendations always and those of you that have followed me from my women that working days, it's really about paying it forward. And I do believe it's human nature that if you give recommendations, you will get them. And I'm not by any means saying you should do quid pro quo things or with a quid pro quo objective. But it's gonna be human nature. So if you want recommendations, start by recommending others, which moves to number four in the setting up of the infrastructure, which is endorsements now. Hopefully, some of you read a block post I wrote a while back. I maximized social business on getting the most value out of Lincoln endorsements. Nothing has gotten so much uproar or, you know, attracted so much attention both positive and negative, mainly negative. Then, when Lincoln introduced endorsement some time ago. I think we're quite used to them now, and I think it doesn't take a PhD to understand that they obviously do not carry the weight that Arlington recommendation has. It's a person. In essence, it's like a Facebook, like for your LinkedIn profile right now. The thing with endorsements, though, is they're attached to skills. And if you say you have experience in something and it's not showing up in skills, and on the other hand, you know, underwater basket weaving is showing up. As a skilled, you have 99 endorsements for their might be a branding problem there. So you want to go in and manage the skills, and you can go in and at it, delete out one side of your relevant. You know, I think that it's automatically with their algorithms trying to figure out the best ones for you. They may not be appropriate for us to go in there, delete out the bad ones, find the good ones and just make sure you're better represented when people endorse you. But the other thing about endorsing others, and I do think that you should have a decent number of endorsements like you know, you have a December connections, you have a decent other recommendations. I don't know what the number would be. You know, Let's I have the number of you should multiply your age by 10. And that should be how big your link to network is, right? Those of you have seen me speaker or sell my YouTube video know that I believe in that. So let's let's make a rule for endorsements then. Right? So if I have 500 connections, let's do 5%. I would hope to have 25 endorsements for a skill. I would hope that out of 100 of my friends, five of them would endorse me. Now, just like quid pro quo in recommendations, you're not gonna ask people for endorsements. It is not that value. If you're gonna ask someone for their support, you want to ask him for a recommendation cause the endorsement really is ah, Facebook like. But you know what? Whenever you go to a Lichten profile of a connection, Lincoln's always beckoning you to endorse them, endorse them. It sends a social signal. It's not gonna do any harm because hopefully you know them well, you are endorsing them out of out of honesty and and out of how you feel about them. And like I said, you're always gonna get people that are going to endorse. As a result, of receiving endorsement even though you're not asking for it. But endorsements are also, you know, this is in the second part of sort of what you need to do for successful social. Something on a daily basis. Were now on the infrastructure part of the equation. But it's easy. Oh, you know, say that endorsing someone is one of the quickest and easiest and least risky types of social signals that you can send on linked in. So in terms of its engage in value, it does have a decent amount of value more than you might think. Okay, let's move on now Number five and setting up your infrastructure groups. Well, you should all know this by now. You remember the same group. You're able to send each other a message regarding your connectivity, assuming that both of you well, assuming the day and I guess you as well have that default setting on. But what's important realize is it's not just in the joining of groups that gives you leverage in Social Sunday Millington and obviously the ability to send a message. But it's really in the engagement inside of those groups where you have value but In order to do that, you first need to find the group's enjoined them. Now. You could do an analysis if you're connected with involving your clients, even if you're not and you can view their profiles, go in there, do a tally, you know, have your assistant go through 100 profiles and of those 100 profiles, you know, what are the groups of people are putting? The group's on their profile. What are the top groups that your client's remembers off? What are the top groups of your partner's? A member of Do a Keyword search? What are some large groups out there in your territory? In your industry, alumni groups there's no lack of groups you can join. Do a search of maximize social business dot com for what Lincoln Group that I joined because I wrote on several years ago and it's still valid today, right? So join relevant groups and you do it once and you forget about it. And these are the five points of setting up your social study in infrastructure, and it deals specifically with victim. But because Lincoln's the center social selling yeah, surface, to say it really is that the centerpiece of your social setting infrastructure for each and every sales person. Whether you're a sales person, you're a manager of your team is updating your profile, connecting your database, making sure that you have that robust network of connections that regardless of your linking connection policy, making a habit When you meet, people go back in there. People join all the time. There's always new people that are there that when you did a search a year ago, two years ago that did not pop up, so there's no lack of people that you could be connected to. And with each one you get the ability to uncover this power of hidden connections that we all have amongst each other, recommending others and getting recommended endorsing others, which also includes sort of managing those skills around, linked in and, you know, indirectly being endorsed for going out and endorsing others on, then joining those right groups. Okay, so once you do this, you're set every three months, maybe the end of each quarter. Lot of salespeople are sort of judged by their quarterly performance. Let's make that the rule. Remember, multiply your age by 10. For connections, multiply your connection Times five for the amount of endorsements you want to go for. So in the course of recording this podcast, I realized, Wow, this is a lot of content that is gonna be way too much for me to cover in the entire, you know, originally, 10 minute podcast it slowly becoming 15 and 20 minute podcasts just tryingto deliver more content feet here in 2015. But what I'd like to do is let's take a pause here. I want to make sure I know you're all doing well what is gonna be the daily work flow of a social selling professional. And before I do that, let's walk before we run on. I want to make sure that you have your infrastructure set up. So and it's funny because the title of the slide in which I present this information at the end of my social selling workshops is literally called your homework. So this is your homework for the next week. I really want you to go in there. There's a few posts have written on maximize social business. You could do a search under the category of linked in a CZ well, but Ah, lot of advice and setting up your LinkedIn profile. Who to connect with about recommendations? Look at that post about endorsements. Look at that block poster wrote about lengthen groups. There's just a tremendous amount of information that have already shared with you. I've also written a book called Maximizing Lincoln for Sales and Social Media Marketing. And although it was written a few years ago, the information is still valid despite the fact that the user interface might have changed. The basics that we're talking about here do not change much like a lot of the sales principles, like solution selling, customer centric selling that some of you may have learned about if you have a sales background. Ah, lot of that really hasn't changed over the years as well. So that's your homework. I'm gonna be coming back to you next week, and the preview is we're gonna talk about what this daily workflow. What should you be doing on a daily basis in social media? To leverage social selling as a sales professional, not remember, with social media in general or with social media marketing, you have the inbound on the outbound lot of sales people like to say pushing pole. So there's two sides of the picture. But that pole right where you have people coming to you and the inbound where you're the magnet attracting others. Part of that is gonna come down to the quality of the infrastructure. Hopefully, through this podcast you're able to set up successfully. That's it for another episode of Maximize Your Social next week. I'm really excited to be going to the Social Media Strategy Summit in Las Vegas, Nevada. I'm giving the closing keynote on sort of where to focus your efforts in 2015. I have a block post of the same title that you should have read already at the beginning of the year. If you haven't go to maximize social business, check it out. Also exciting week ahead. We've been signing on new sponsors, new speakers of the Social Tool Summit. I want to thank you all for your support. It's gonna be an awesome event if you haven't bought your ticket yet. Do make sure that you get that early bird special because it's not gonna be around forever. And obviously, if you're looking to sponsor, if you have a social media speaking track record. You'll want to contact me as well. We'll see how we can fit you in. But that's it for another episode of Maximize Your Social Wherever you are in the world. Make it a great social day. Everybody, thanks for listening to maximize your social. We appreciate all of your iTunes descriptions, ratings and comments. If you would like to appear on the show or recommend content, please contact Neil Schaffer at Neil at Maximize Your social dot com. Please also make sure to check out Neil's new community, the Social Media Centre of Excellence at Social Media, c o e dot com, as well as Neil's first social media event, the Social Tool Summit, which will be in Boston on May 12. Thanks again and make it a social day.