According to Patti Pokorchak, social “selling” should really be called social “prospecting.” Any good salesperson knows you can’t walk up to someone at a face-to-face networking event and immediately pitch them your wares. You have to build a connection and a relationship. Selling digitally should be the same way. Listen to this episode of Sales Reinvented to hear Patti’s thoughts on successful social prospecting.
Patti’s business partner likes to say, “All roads lead to your website.” Patti believes the most important part of your website is your lead magnet. You need to be able to capture someone’s email address. Secondly, you have to engage with people daily. She points out that you can’t pretend that you’re active on social media if you’re just throwing up a link to your blog post. Being active means having a dialogue with people.
If you comment on large influencer’s posts, you’ll get eyeballs on your answers. Patti gets most of her connection requests and clients through engaging in this way versus engaging on her own posts. She spends at least 15 minutes a day on LinkedIn adding value and engaging on people’s posts. Showing your expertise on someone else’s content helps you become a thought leader. She recommends that you do a weekly blog post, share it, and engage.
Patti notes that social media can be overwhelming. Her advice? Pick one platform. In the B2B environment, the go-to is LinkedIn. Spend your time on that network and get really good at social prospecting. Patti believes that Twitter is a great place to listen and learn, but not great for gaining business. Pick a market that fits your market. If you’re selling to women in the consumer market? Try Instagram or Pinterest. You don’t have to be on all platforms.
Patti recommends that you find ways to always be learning. The Sales Experts Channel has almost 1,000 videos that you can watch. YouTube is full of great content. Follow people that you think are doing social well.
What does Patti believe is the key to success? She shares some things you should—and shouldn’t—do.
Patti now owns a hobby farm and garden center. When she started it, she knew nothing about farming and didn't know anyone. But after five years, she’s built a thriving business. Over those five years, she’s been collecting emails and had about 1500 people on her list (of avid gardeners). Patti wanted to celebrate her five years in business. Her garden center is seasonal, so she decided to open on 5/5 at 5 pm and ran $5 specials.
She didn’t think many people would show up at 5 pm on a Friday—but she was mistaken. She had people waiting outside the garden gate. 50 people showed up in the five hours she was open. She was stuffing money in her pockets. She notes that you cannot underestimate the demand for something people want. A focused email list can go a long way with your target market. Email marketing is a great way to provide value and connect with your customers.
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