Social selling tips for Linkedin? Great topic, but a fool with a tool is still a fool. So let’s start with another perspective: Social selling tips about winning in every stage of the sales funnel by using a simple concept.

“So what do you give?”, I ask. “What do you mean with that? Aren’t we going to discuss the sales funnel and stages?”, he says. ” Yes, of course,” I reply. ” I want to talk about the essence of every sales stage, and that is building trust and increasing commitment by giving first.

It is an example of a conversation I had many times in my career. I love this subject because the design of the sales funnel is about effectiveness. And for salespeople effectiveness should be everything. 

The problem is that most sales can’t comprehend what the sales funnel represents. Reason? Most sales managers use a technical approach. So most salespeople know sales stages, they know percentages, and they know the qualification criteria. Abbreviations, terminology, acronyms and all the other’s important, but it is the basic. And nothing more. And the biggest problem..too many ‘things’ to remember! My advice. Read between the lines and think conceptually.

Read between the lines

Every sales stage has its specifics. Every stage is different, but at the same time, every stage has its similarities. And there is only one rule that makes all the difference. ‘ Give and receive,’ that’s it.
It is, however, a very delicate balance. If you give too much, you will be out. If you ask too much, you are out.

Let me give you an example. You have an impressive lead, and you have a great rapport with your contact. There are no commitments, but your contact has a serious project coming up. Happy? Of course. The lead becomes an opportunity and goes to stage 2 (just an example). You follow-up (give respect), you ask great questions (give attention), invited your contact for an in-house event (give expertise). And all for free. Now your contact asks for more. First, he tells you that he likes what you have done so far (receive appreciation). Now he wants to meet on of your top consultants. What do you do next? You already gave so much.

social selling counting

If you agree to give more expertise without asking something back, it can backfire. Why? The delicate balance becomes imbalanced. Can you count? You gave five times and received only once. You’re probably wasting your energy

social selling tips for winning at every sales stage of the funnel.

1 – Listen carefully

This looks like an obvious topic, but it isn’t. Listen with a specific purpose. Listen to understand what to give! Don’t focus on the deal, but just the person in front of you. Give value: information, respect, understanding, expertise, knowledge, etc.

2 – Be the first to give

People have the need to reciprocate. So, if you give first, you have the mental advantage. And if you want to learn from the best talk to Charles Ruffolo. A lot of salespeople know this but make one mistake. Sometimes you give something that has no value for your prospect or customer. Then it doesn’t count. So back to tip nr. 1, carefully listen what to give to make it count.

3 – Always feel equal

You can win yourself a new customer, but the prospect can win a great new ‘supplier.’ Your prospect can choose, but you have the same power. You have the right to say ‘no.’

4 – Be explicit

Go from implicit to explicit. Let say you agree to set-up a meeting with one of your top consultants for free (you are in stage 3 and received a lot of commitment in return). So you feel safe to proceed. The day rate of this consultant is EUR 2.000,- and he works worldwide. To find a suitable date is complex, but this consultant is somebody you know well. He goes the extra mile for you.

It takes you one full day of arranging this meeting. You call your contact to discuss a date. “Not ideal, I have to reschedule some internal meetings..but ok”, he says. What do you think? Did you give something or did he give something? Depending on his personality he can either believe that it’s equal ‘give and receive’ or that he gave (he rescheduled..remember). Let the prospect know how much effort you are putting into this arrangement. Tell him explicitly how much you give in this case or you will be deceived by perception.

Sales perception

Why you will always win with these social selling tips

You can’t lose if you live by the ‘give and receive’ principal. If you lose a deal and your prospect is appreciative of what you’ve done, you will win a relationship. So what if you lose a deal and he is not appreciative? You can’t lose something you never had. Can you?