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9 Social Selling Tips from a Pioneer of the Strategy

We sat down with social selling expert and coach Evan Patterson to get his piping-hot takes on the strategy. He’s been social selling since back when it was all manual, without fancy intent tools to help.

If you’ve been asking these questions, you’re in the right place…

How do we find the right people to sell to on social media?

How can we get our company on board?

What should and shouldn’t we measure?

The answers await. So keep reading for Evan’s very best social selling tips.

Or catch the full episode here:

Closing Show Live: Evan Patterson Talks Social Selling

1. Use social selling to book more meetings

Social sellers connect with ICPs on social media, so they’re able to build that know-like-trust factor much quicker. Because of content published by the company, the social seller, and employee advocates, the seller is able to get past a target’s initial defenses.

“The amount of touches it takes a strong social seller to book a meeting is typically less than it takes a traditional seller to book a meeting.” - Evan Patterson

2. Know that emotions still rule in B2B

Evan says that although B2B is more complicated than B2C because of buying committees, the two sales environments are more alike than most sellers think. At the end of the day, the sales experience still comes down to emotions.

Great social sellers can play on emotions and pain points in their posts, comments, and DMs.

“A lot of people talk about the solution. They don’t talk about the pain. But misery loves company. Talk about why their pain and use derailing, blunt terminology about negative emotions they’ll relate to.” - Evan Patterson

(In Tip #6, you’ll learn how to find fodder for your messages.)

3. Hire social sellers with the right personality

The best social sellers are the type of people who can go to a party where they don’t know anyone, make a bunch of new friends, and walk away with phone numbers and plans for hanging out.

“I look for people who have traveled on their own or moved to a different state or company. I look for people who are social, outgoing, emotionally self-aware, independent, self-motivated, and obsessively curious.” - Evan Patterson

The best ways to find such talent? Poach from other companies. Also, tell all your friends, family, and coworkers who you’re looking for. Chances are they know someone who’s the life of the party.

4. Choose platforms where your audience is in the right headspace

Everyone’s heard the advice that you should hang out where your audience is.

Evan takes this one step further. You should spend your time in the platform where your ICP is in the best headspace to book a meeting after a DM conversation.

For instance, if your ICP is on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok, you might decide to spend most of your time on LinkedIn and Twitter, because this is where they spend their working hours and are most likely to book a call with you.

5. Support social sellers with killer community marketers

“The community marketer is a social seller’s SDR. We are warming it up for you. We are making it less cold. We’re those 16 billboards they see on the freeway before the salesperson knocks on their door.” - Evan Patterson

Community marketers build audiences, engage with them, and create collaborative content and experiences, while social sellers reach out and drive pipeline through 1:1 conversations.

Evan has transitioned into working as a community marketer because he realized that his success as a social seller was dependent on having an excellent community marketer on the team. For best results, a company would have both roles filled, but it is possible to hire one person to handle both responsibilities.

6. Find prospects in pain on social media

When speaking directly to prospects’ pain points, don’t guess.

How do you know for sure what prospects care about? One of Evan’s favorite social selling strategies is called post-bound.

Here’s how it works:

  • Know the main pain points most relevant to your solution

  • Search those in social media

  • Find influencers talking about them

  • Read the comments to find your ICPs who also have these problems

  • Reach out to the ICPs to talk about those pain points and strike up conversations

When he started doing this, there weren’t any tools available to make it easier, but now platforms like Trender and Aware supercharge this manual work with account-based intent data.

7. Make room in your sales strategy for social selling

Companies need to accept that when you start social selling, you might have a slight dip in pipeline for a quarter as your team upskills.

Leaders also need to realize that not everything can be measured. You can’t track every DM and voice memo. Instead, you should adjust your metrics away from emails and dials and focus instead on relevant meetings booked.

Not only will you ultimately get better results and drive more pipeline, but you’ll also prepare your company to attract new, young talent.

“When I’m coaching people who are 18, 19, 20 years old, they’re not saying they want to be an SDR. They’re saying they want to be a social seller, community marketer, or B2B influencer.” - Evan Patterson

8. Track meetings booked with people adjacent to your ICP

A great social seller is a great networker. They know how to meet the right people in order to make new connections. This means that they’ll be booking meetings with people who are adjacent to your ICP. We’re talking about your ICP’s direct reports, coworkers, bosses, friends, etc.

Don’t put strict boundaries around the quotas for booked meetings. You should allow the meetings with adjacent folks to count.

This creates a supportive environment where social sellers feel like they can do their best work. And, you’ll end up booking more meetings with actual ICPs than if you were overly narrow in your approach.

9. Build your personal brand

“The best social sellers have a personal brand. So start looking at your career the same way an actor would. Everything I’ve done in my career has been on brand.” - Evan Patterson

Posting on social media is an essential part of personal branding, and your posts can fuel your success. The more that people already know about you and your company, the less your outreach will feel like a “pitch slap.”

So get out there, show up consistently, be human, and build relationships.


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