Social selling has opened up new opportunities to convert prospects into clients within the financial industry.
There is a good chance that you have seen a social post, a blog post, or heard someone discuss the “power of social selling.”
Social selling advocates claim the power of LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter signalled the end of the stereotype of pushy, disconnected financial advisers.
Social media platforms welcoming businesses to their feeds created a new breed of relationship first advisers, who use social networks to make meaningful connections, rather than simply sell financial services.
What Is Social Selling?
LinkedIn claims that social selling involves using social networks to identify the right prospects and build trusting relationships.
This process will help you achieve your acquisition goals.
Social selling methods allow for better financial lead generation and sales prospecting.
After all, it is easier to establish and maintain relationships with clients and colleagues who trust you.
Social selling and marketing on social media can be confused.
Financial advisers usually manage social selling.
The process is designed to nurture and identify leads throughout a complete sales cycle.
On the other hand, marketing teams manage social media and see the best results when not a trigger for a particular action.
It should be used to build a pipeline and support sales through broader messages and content.
We know that social selling works if it is done right.
Social selling actually outperforms traditional selling methods by 78%.
The problem is that social selling can be misunderstood.
Many financial advisers often see social selling as a new method.
But it is not anything new in the financial marketing world.
Financial advisers who are successful in social selling often have the same qualities that make them successful offline: trustworthy, helpful, informative and reliable.
Social media is simply your tool.
But then it takes the right attitude to be a successful social seller.
Social selling can be intimidating at first glance.
It is important to understand the similarities between traditional and online sales to ease worry.
There is a good chance that you have been social selling all along, without even knowing it.
LinkedIn: The king of social selling
LinkedIn is arguably the best platform for social selling, because it can create long-lasting, meaningful business relationships.
After all, it’s the social media hub for business professionals.
LinkedIn is an extremely powerful research tool that can be used to find new prospects and identify key points of entry to the companies you are targeting.
It’s even easier to connect with prospects via LinkedIn.
LinkedIn offers a wide range of search options and detailed profiles that make it easy to find people with whom to connect.
It also simplifies how to request mutual connections to help you expand your network.
If you view LinkedIn as a trade show online, then LinkedIn groups are invite-only after parties.
A pushy financial adviser who crashes a LinkedIn Group is like gatecrashing a real party.
Groups are not a place where you can sell your services.
Instead, they are a place where you can ask questions, provide information and build relationships.
When you participate in these real–albeit digital–conversations, you’ll earn a reputation as an authoritative specialist whose products or services are worth paying attention to.
Adding value to your audience is the best way to social-sell.
Twitter: Listen in to your prospects
Traditional sales do not require you to pitch your services.
Instead, you should listen to your prospect and identify a problem that your product can solve.
Listening is equally important when it comes to social selling.
That is where Twitter comes in.
Twitter allows you to listen to thousands of prospects simultaneously, as they share their thoughts.
You can use Twitter Listings to group prospects in the most effective way for your sales strategy.
These are some categories to organise your lists:
- Job titles
- People you’ve met in person
So can you simply tweet your pitch to prospective clients once you have seen them tweet?
If you do this, you may as well just cold call them.
But trust us, it probably won’t be as effective and could kill your opportunity.
Instead, spend the time getting to know your prospect.
If you have something value-adding to share with prospective clients, that’s when you should reply.
This interaction will get your prospects to follow you back and put your tweets in their timeline.
They will also recognise your name when there is a chance to have a conversation.
Think about what kind of content you tweet to get your tweets noticed on their timeline.
Your timeline should reflect your industry expertise and provide your followers with added value.
Twitter can be used to increase your sales efforts and build relationships on a scale.
These relationships can be leveraged when it is time to eventually have a sales conversation.
It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Facebook: A warmer way to nurture leads
Prospects do not become clients overnight.
According to MarketingSherpa, 79% of marketing leads do not convert due to lack of nurturing.
Relationships are crucial in today’s sales cycle.
The only way to establish these relationships is to communicate with prospects at every stage of the client journey.
Financial advisers have heavily relied on emails and phone calls to nurture leads.
Facebook, however, offers a unique way to communicate with prospects at every stage.
Nurturing leads via Facebook is now considered the same as nurturing them by phone or email.
In fact, it could be more effective as a softer and less intrusive approach.
Are You Ready To Get Social Selling?
Social selling simply takes the same qualities that make people great at selling in person, on phone calls and during the nurturing process, and apply them to social channels.
If you have the overarching goal of providing your audience with value added content while building on meaningful and trusting relationships, you will see successful sales results, whether you sell in person, on LinkedIn, over a cold call or an automated email journey sequence.
Social selling is simply another tool in your armoury of client acquisition.
One we recommend strongly.
Well, it’s logical: People do business only with people they trust in the financial services industry.
Our hard earned wealth and life savings / investments are far too important to give responsibility to someone without authority or proven trust.
Trust is earned by putting yourself out there and giving your financial brand a personality.
Social selling will do exactly this.
Read our Guide to Financial Content Marketing to learn more about the value-adding content types you could use to help build your sales pipeline.