Over the last two months I thought I would perform a test using LinkedIn. My goal was to connect with 1,000 people in the copier industry. Right now, I'm sitting at about 800 new connections. I'm hoping to hit that 1,000 mark by the end of this week.
Everyday, I spend at the minimum 30 to 45 minutes review my wall of threads. Since I have more than three thousand connections, that wall seems like it can go on forever (thank goodness for weekends YaY!)
If I had to estimate, I would say that I'm connected to more than 2,500 copier sales people.
Today, I scrolled through 368 threads on my LinkedIn wall. I wanted to see how many other copier/office technology reps had posted something on LinkedIn.
Any thread would be worthy of getting a notch for a post. I did omit posts from dealer principals since I know of few of them use a marketing department or firm to post for them (that's not a bad thing) and those who help high level positions with the manufacturers or dealers. Let me tell you, going through all of the threads and you see some crazy threads on LinkedIn now.
Here's what I found.
Out of the 368 threads that were posted there were, are you ready for this? NINE threads from copier sales people. Two of those threads were from one copier sales person (that's a good job Dayna). We're talking a little over 2% took the time to post anything on LinkedIn.
There were zero pulse articles and three of those nine threads had a picture of a copier, the headline and a "contact me". That's being creative!
Sorry to say, but that's a piss poor effort from our industry sales people. How do you expect people to know that "you" exist in todays social world of business. I was just listening to a webinar from Darrell Amy and he threw out a stat that 93% of people use a search engine for buying anything. Darrell went on to say that in the sales world, that's just about everyone.
Posting on Social Media Does Not Get Me Orders
Absolutely correct! There is no Selling in Social Media
Throw out the "Selling" part of Social, there is no selling. It's more about creating awareness that "you" exist within your geo space of B2B business. Maybe you need to call it Social Business Awareness or just Social Awareness.
Let's put it this way, not posting on Social Media pretty much means you're out of site, and when you're out of sight you're out of mind.
Does knocking on doors get you orders on the first knock, or when was the last time you cold called a DM on the phone and the first response was, "hey, thanx for calling, I want to order five copiers from you"? Right, it really doesn't happen that often. But your efforts of knocking on doors and cold calls will produce orders at some point in time. The same is true of social media, at some point in time you are going to get "that" call or that inmail" from someone wants to engage with you.
There is No Secret Sauce with Social Selling
I think I started with LinkedIn in 2004. Over the years, I've written more than 2,500 blogs related to the copier industry and have garnered almost 3,000 world wide members (remember I do this part time). In addition I've made a tidy sum of extra dough, because I had a plan and stuck to my plan over all of these years.
You need to have a plan, and you need to stick to that plan, day in day out, month in and month out, and yes years in and years out. That is the only way you'll create your Social Awareness.
Maybe start with:
Create three alerts with Google. One for Technology, one for Business and one for Dogs and Cats (most everyone loves dogs and cats). Read those alerts everyday and when you find something that either piques your interest or you think it would be a good read for others. Then you post that link with your social media accounts (LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter). Also always keep that attitude that you're not concerned with getting likes, or views. Your only concern is to share information with others.
Over time you will start to see people gravitate to you for a connection. Once the connection is made you may then thank them and send a note, please let me know if I can every help with anything. Maybe, even a call sometime down the road.
Why Social Selling Stinks for Most Copier Sales Reps
I hate to say this, but I think most are lazy, and for those that are not lazy, I don't think they are aware of what you can accomplish if have a plan for Social Media. I can attest that for those who want to work and those who have a plan, you can be assured that you'll have a very lucrative sales career.
Thoughts, comments, would love to hear them.