The world of sales has always been about relationships and networking. However, in today’s world of smart phones, tablets, and Wi-Fi there has been a major paradigm shift. In the old days (the 1990’s), sales leads and prospects came from your network of friends and associates. This usually happened through word of mouth. Think back to the not so distant past, and you can most likely remember buying a car or ever a home through a friend of a friend. To be completely honest, this still hold true today. But, the way in which we network has changed, and so to must the way in which we find potential buyers (prospects).
To understand what social selling is we must first explore what social networking is. The short answer to that question;
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Qualifying a prospect simply means finding out if the prospect has a need for your product or service. Jim Keenan in Tweet Me, Friend Me, Make Me Buy says, “A lead today can be a complaint on Twitter, a question on LinkedIn, or a discussion on a Facebook page.” (pg 91) A good example of this in social selling would be, you see a friend of a friend posted on Twitter about how much she hates her neighborhood and would like to move to a more rural area. You, being a real estate agent, know of some good properties just outside the city. You make initial contact, and confirm she has a need for your service then you set an appointment. You’ve just gained yourself a prospect that has a good chance of converting to a customer.
Another key to using social media for prospecting and lead generations is having a large network. If you only have a couple of friend in your network, then your organic outreach will be very small. Think of your social network as a spider’s web with you in the middle. Now think of your friends as the next ring in the web. The friends of your friends would be the next ring, and so on. If you’re first ring is larger, then the amount of people you reach in the end will be larger.
Having this large network will enable you to reach more people, and to listen to what more people are saying. Specifically, you can listen to what people are saying about the products and services in