I've got to admit, I don't focus very much on Social Selling when I speak to reps. about best practices. It's not that I don't think that it's a tool in the tool box that should be considered and used where appropriate, but I don't grab my pom poms when the topic comes up and shout "Three Cheers for Social Selling". I have been known to say, "No one sells anything over email! You still need to pick up the phone." Well, something happened yesterday that got my attention.
My son just graduated from high school last week and is off to @KUhoops in the fall (of course!). He was accepted back in September, but he/we were slow to get on the housing and roommate bandwagon. So, the search for a roommate began in earnest in April. KU has a "Match.com" for roommates website where you tell potential roommates about yourself and your interests in hopes of making a roommate love connection. We discovered quickly that most students have already paired up, thanks to the site, that had been active since the Fall.
That all changed yesterday when my son called to inform me he'd found a roommate and as a result, they were switching rooms and "It doesn't cost anything"! Woot Woot. Being the typical sales Mom the following conversation took place.
Mom: How did you find him?
Son: On Twitter
Mom: You found your roommate on Twitter?
Son: Yep, we've been following each other for a while. He's a big @KUhoops fan too and he DM'd me last week and we've been talking.
Mom: Really? What's his name? Where does he live? (as I'm pulling up Twitter to start searching through my son's followers).
Son: Drew. He lives in Shawnee.
Mom: That's great. I'm so excited for you. So, guys have talked on the phone?
Son: No, we've just been DMing.
Mom: You found a roommate, decided which dorm you would live in, and made the room switch and you haven't spoken to him?
Son: Right. I did just DM him and suggest that we swap numbers, since we're going to be roommates and all.
So, there it was. My son and his new roommate SOLD each other on the idea of rooming together and never picked up the phone. As a mother of a teenage, I'm aware that 99.9% of all communication happens by text, group text, twitter, snap chat and the like. But, agreeing to be a roommate for 9 months????
So, maybe it's time to start to talk more about how social selling can help reps. close more deals. Here are the takeaways I got yesterday from my son's experience.
- Know your audience: Millennials and Gen Z (like my son) are going to be more willing and interested in doing business socially.
- Research: Use social sites to learn more about your prospects. Their background, interests, and passions. My son and Drew had already been following each other as a result of their passion for @kuhoops.
- Pick the right social sites to engage with your prospects: My son and Drew probably wouldn't have found each other on Instagram or Snap Chat. My son almost exclusively uses Twitter to follow and comment on sports (and maybe a little bit on our current President).
- Be active: My son is on Twitter daily- posting, liking, and retweeting. This gave Drew enough "data" on him to determine that they were "KU Soulmates", as I'm calling them. Drew was willing to engage with my son after determining that they had enough in common to room together.
I called my son back later in the day to see if he and Drew had actually spoken yet.
Son: Mom, did you follow Drew on Twitter?
Mom: I sure did.
Son: He DM'd me and said... is this your mom? She just followed me.
Mom: I'm not stalking him, I just wanted to learn more. He's perfect for you! He got signed shoes from @landenlucas33 and everything!
Mom: By the way.... he followed me back!
Happy Social Selling!