Social Selling 103: Facebook for Salesmen
Is your dealership using Facebook for social selling? Why not? If your sales people are like many of us, they’re not at all sure Facebook even works for selling heavy duty trucks or construction equipment. And if it does, how?
Your salesmen are making it too hard on themselves. Social media is about people. And isn’t the essence of selling developing relationships with prospects to convert them into customers? Now Facebook starts to make sense – it’s just another avenue (and a very important one in today’s marketing environment) to establish and grow personal relationships.
And to banish any lingering thoughts that using Facebook isn’t worth the effort, consider the fact that 79% of salesmen who use social media as a selling tool get better results than those who don’t.
The only way to personalize your dealership is through your people.
Trucking and construction industry owners, managers, drivers and operators are all just as active on social media as the next person. If you aren’t active there, too, you’re missing valuable opportunities to promote your dealership, your products and – the crucial part – enable your individual sales team members to generate leads by connecting with interested prospects.
Each of your salesmen can use social selling strategies on Facebook to build their own reputation as a knowledgeable, trustworthy resource. At the same time, they’re building your dealership’s brand awareness and reputation as well.
Here are some tips to help your people make the most of Facebook:
Start by creating a plan. Every sales person understands the importance of goals, so decide what you want to accomplish via social selling. Remember that non-sales interactions are primary on social media, so think in terms of extending your marketing reach, creating “buzz” that fans can like and share, improving customer satisfaction and generally engaging in conversations with prospects and customers. Yes, your goal is to generate leads, but you’ll be doing that along the way.
Setting specific goals enables you to measure and study your results, too – the only way you can tell how well social selling is working for you.
Now define your strategy. In addition to your dealership’s Facebook page, each sales person can have their own page – not the one they use to send vacation pictures to friends, but a business-oriented one. The value here is establishing each salesman as a real-person representative of your business. Conversation can only take place between people, and social selling is really nothing more than a person-to-person conversation.
What content should you post? Think about the kinds of conversations you have with colleagues and customers when you’re face to face or on the phone – interesting industry trends, the latest headlines in trade publications and funny or impressive customer stories all spark interest. Try to always include visuals with your posts, as sharing and click-through rates skyrocket when you add photos or video links.
Leads will show themselves, as people ask questions. And you can pose questions, to learn more about your fans and identify the warmest leads.
You may want to advertise on Facebook, too.
Social selling is a process, just like building any personal relationship, but you can speed along the lead generation aspect by advertising. Paid ads allow you to reach prospects not already connected to your page, prospects you know are qualified to buy, not just converse.
Don’t overtly sell your products — “buy Freightliner Cascadia Evolution.” Instead, promote your content – downloadable goodies such as a preventive maintenance tip sheet, your latest eBook or whitepaper, an infographic your marketing team created for you or something for those farther along in your sales funnel, such as a free demo offer.
It’s another way to generate click-throughs from prospects and qualify them as to their specific interest at the same time. You’re also reinforcing your dealership’s credibility and value as a go-to resource for helpful information.
Social selling on Facebook can build reputation for your dealership and your sales people. It will help them generate more leads, shorten the sales cycle, improve conversions and create the kind of lasting customer relationships you need to grow. Simply think of it as another type of personal conversation.