Selling with your ears: The art of social listening

Sales people frequently opt for talking about their processes, tweeting about their products, and blogging about their expertise. While all of these messages offer good points, to really be successful at selling, we must close our mouths, perk up our ears, and hear what our audience is saying.

Social listening is key to pinpointing our hot prospects and turning them into leads, then customers. Social listening is the act of identifying opportunities to gain the attention of buyers who are experiencing pain points that need to be addressed, unhappy with their current vendor, or ready to make a purchase. Successful social listening leads prospects away from your competitors by showing your what they seek, and the kind of experience they expect.

Handily implement social selling into your overall strategy in these six easy steps.

First, understand “who?” You won’t be able to listen successfully until you know who you are supposed to listen to. Properly pinpoint your target buyers on the front end, as well as your main competitors. Without doing this, you waste time on meaningless chatter from buyers and competitors irrelevant to you.

Then, know “what?” should perk your ears up. Designate certain key actions that, if heard, spur your attention. A target prospect mentioning their pain points, customer service issues, or asking questions about a product can all be leveraged into a way to connect with them.

You also need to pinpoint “when?” to take action. Specific messages, events, or language are keys to knowing when to act on the information you glean from your social listening efforts.

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