In our last several posts, we’ve explored prospecting tips. Regardless of your industry, prospecting is a key part of successfully selling. Even the hottest markets die down eventually, so we want you to have the tools to refill your pipeline when needed. Next up is a look at industry trends and social value. In his interview on the art of prospecting, Jeff Hoffman lists several strategies to enhance any prospecting strategy. One of these strategies is focusing on social value.
Understanding Social Value
I’ll scratch your back, you scratch mine. Reciprocity is a key element in both selling and consumer behavior. Whether intentional or not, each of us tends to “rank” people we meet based on what they can offer us. That’s essentially social value in a nutshell. This concept has grown even more important in the digital age. Indeed, the stronger the social presence of a client or brand, the more “valuable” they are. Not only do people or brands with high social value have a good understanding of current trends, they also have a great deal of influence over others. Therefore, this group can lead to strong word-of-mount marketing. Clearly, this can yield positive or negative results. Therefore, it’s critical for brands or salespeople to focus on building strong social value and interacting with others who have it.
Capitalizing on Trends
Becoming a socially valuable salesperson is largely built around the “cool factor”. Ideally, others assign significant value to the person or brand upon the first meeting. In April Dunford’s book, Obviously Awesome, she recommends “layering on trends” to positioning when appropriate. However, she does caution being strategic when aligning with trends. Just like other marketing strategies, there must be a good product fit. If the trend and product don’t naturally fit, it can lead to confusion. Therefore, if your offering has nothing to do with bitcoin, that’s probably not the right trend to try. Instead, review industry blogs, podcasts, or journals to identify some trends that might align better with your offering.
It’s also important to tailor your prospecting to your target market. Blockchain might be exciting to one group while being nonsense to another. Research key marketing cohorts to focus on things that are actually valuable to your target.
An Easy Way to Build Value
Consumers are becoming increasingly interested in digital solutions. In fact, the physical shopping model is in rapid decline. Consumers want a convenient and mobile way to access solutions. Add value to potential clients (and social value to yourself) by leveraging technology to provide a convenient, streamlined sales process. The easier the sales process, the more referrals and leads enter the pipeline. Focus on introducing technology into each step of the sales process and then delivering that technology in a unique way that adds to your social value.