VISIBLE: Is seen where the Customer is
VISIBLE: Is seen where the Customer is
”I hate to bring bad news Shiv” said Nissar “But I think you can drop QRS from your pipeline. I have a feeling they are going with our competitor”
“What?” said Shiv “Impossible. That can’t be. I have primed their purchase department and I was just waiting for the lockdown to end. I will now get back to them. We should get that order. That’s ours”
“QRS doesn’t seem to think so, Shiv” said Nissar
“Oh, come on Nissar, how do you know QRS is going to buy from our competition?” asked Shiv “Is it one of those famous hunches of yours?”
Nissar sighed. “I wish it were Shiv. But unfortunately the writing is big on the wall. I have been following your QRS Procurement Lead on LinkedIn. He has been liking the content our competitor has been publishing. It is about the same product line that we are wanting to sell. He is also connected very recently to the Sales Lead of our competitor"
“Wait Nissar” said Shiv “Let me check this out with my contact within QRS” Shiv whipped out his phone and hit the contact’s number “Hello” he said
Seconds later Shiv closed his eyes and shook his head as he spoke “Really? …. But why? … Ok …ok … but you could have reached out to us …. What? … You mean my LinkedIn Inbox… no, I don’t access it regularly… Ok, I get it … but please do let me know if your Chief changes his mind”
“What happened?” asked Nissar
“You were right” said Shiv “It’s almost gone. Apparently QRS’ Procurement Lead had lost all his phone contacts during the lockdown. So he tried to reach me over social media. And when he couldn’t, he didn’t want to wait till they opened, given their urgency. Our competitor is active on social media and that’s how this looks like almost slipping out of our hands”
“So disappointing Shiv” said Nissar “Nowadays you are invisible if your are not seen in the social space. But this is first time it might cost us business. Let's see how we can recover. That said, I think today’s sales people necessarily have to be there on social media because they should be seen where their Customers are”
Resilient Sales Professionals are Visible to their Customers
Resilient sales professionals leverage their own professional brand and social network to gather insights, make connections, and then use that intelligence to discover new opportunities, sell, and do business. They are aware that in a digitally connected world being socially visible is a prerequisite for building relationships. This is because a substantial part of the purchase journey is completed by buyers today, whether B2C or B2B, without the mediation of the seller.
Oft quoted research reveals that 70% of B2B buying processes are executed without the involvement of a sales rep, 88% of decision makers start their buying journey in the web and 50% of deals are won by the sales rep who identifies FIRST the buying signal. These stats serve to underline the need for social visibility among salespeople, specially those in the B2B space.
To be visible it becomes necessary for you the seller to use technologies and social media channels to showcase your expertise. Customers will then find you when they are ready.
Possible solution for the story situation – Shiv could increase his Social Media and online visibility on the right platforms (See Anchor Practice below)
Anchor practice: 5 Steps to Social Visibility
1) Review your profile image. Keep it professional.
2) Craft your profile headline & summary. Showcase your expertise.
3) Use multiple media on your timeline, to engage your readers.
4) Get searchable - Use key words and hashtags that your Prospects may be using, when searching for answers.
5) Get networked - Reach out to socially active opinion leaders and decision makers in your area of expertise. Keep listening actively. Respond respectfully.
Pause to reflect: "Resilient sales professionals are aware that in a closely connected world being socially visible is a prerequisite for building relationships"
Action Question: “How can you use the '5 Steps to Social Visibility' to enhance the possibility of being found by your Customers?
Related Readings: Mercuri Insight Document on How to use social selling to take your B2B sales to a higher level
Takeaway Quote: “As a sales person, we must be visible. We must put ourselves out there so that the buyers, when they’re looking around for answers, can find us.” – Koka Sexton
About the series: This is the 75th in a series of 100 Posts that seek to build your #Sales Resilience ... as an individual salesperson, as a sales team, and as a sales organization. Because a Resilient India needs Resilient Sales.