Social Sellers understand why listening is the most important skill in the social selling armoury. So what are the buying signals to look out for?
Firstly, consider the types of signals to look for as dependant on the nature of the product or service you are selling. What would indicate that a customer or prospect needs your help?
Every product and service has its own signals but here are the typical ones to look out for:
- Organisational change (e.g. new geography, recruitment drive or redundancies, mergers or acquisitions)
- Leadership change
- Market change (e.g. what is happening to their customers/end-users, changes to markets or competition)
- External (e.g. legislation or regulatory changes, local community news)
- Relationship (e.g. customer, partners, new markets)
- Strategic (e.g. change of direction or focus)
- Tactical (e.g. new initiatives, reviews)
- Events (e.g. newsworthy, sharable events and awards, charitable contributions or sponsorships, incidents or accidents)
Where to look?
Often overlooked as a source of insight, but by definition news is information about recent events, and business news is insight into your customers and prospects.
An excellent way to understand the culture and direction of an organisation. Three quarters of B2B marketers are now using blogs as part of their marketing approach.
Social Media Platforms
Join LinkedIn groups that your customers gravitate towards. Monitor Twitter hashtags to identify people and companies that are associated with a particular topic, trend or concept in the markets your serve. Use Glassdoor to give you an insight into what employees think of their company.
Make every minute spent listening a minute well spent
The problem with listening is, of course, that the sheer volume of information on social and digital networks can be overwhelming, and this makes the job difficult. There are almost 100,000 tweets, 100 LinkedIn accounts and 1,500 new blog posts created every minute.
To quote Clay Shirky, the problem is not information overload, it is “failure to filter.”
Buying signals are occurring all day, but you can’t spend your whole day listening (you have other work to do if you are to close that sale or retain that customer!)
Listening should be frequent but brief. This can be facilitated by using the right tools, which will cut through the white noise and can be built into your working rhythm to minimise the time you invest.