Remember the days when cold calls and door-to-door sales were the best way to find clients? Thankfully, there is a new(ish) tool that has the capacity to do more (with less effort). It's social selling, the practice of using social media as a means to target prospects, build connections, and establish rapport and trust.

How exactly does social selling do all of that? It connects buyers and sellers directly, cutting out traditional sales channels and shortening the sales cycle. Essentially it eliminates the middlemen, which could be why 75% of B2B buyers now rely on social channels to assist them in making purchasing decisions. Yet social selling is one of the most underutilized tools that salespeople and businesses can rely on to build relationships and increase sales.

Three Reasons You Should Be Social Selling

1. Enhance your networking and relationship-building

No one likes a cold call. In fact, 90% of top decision-makers never respond to them. Social media makes it easy to network and build relationships that make sales conversations warmer. Even better is how easy it is to find mutual connections through social media. Today, nearly 90% of B2B buyers view common acquaintances favorably, which means a single connection could be the difference between a hit and a miss.

2. Your customers are already there

Customers increasingly consult social media when making purchasing decisions. They search for peer reviews, they research companies, and they compare the competition. Using social media contacts has become a common part of the purchasing process for 75% of B2B buyers. They're online and ready to purchase, which means you need to be there, too.

3. Your competitors are there, too

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image of Brett Bernstein

Brett Bernstein is the founder and CEO of Gatsby, an authentic-marketing platform that helps brands work with their real customers.

LinkedIn: Brett Bernstein

Twitter: @bhbern