Lately I’ve been hearing more and more about “social selling”–a sales technique that involves social networking, emailing, and researching…while fastidiously avoiding the phone. And it made me wonder: is social selling a waste of time for business coaches?
While I never recommend that coaches should cold call, I firmly believe that the telephone is and will remain one of the most powerful sales tools for business coaches. Then the other day, I stumbled upon this post by Tony J. Hughes about social selling. According to Hughes:
So many businesses and sales people have confused ‘social selling’ with ‘social marketing’. Social platforms certainly play an essential role for research and creating a strong personal brand that sets an agenda and evidences insight and credibility. But selling is all about engaging the buyer in a meaningful two-way conversation and the human voice is like nothing else for achieving just that.
I couldn’t agree more! While you can (and should!) use all kinds of strategies for lead generation and lead warming, you’ll never sell business coaching without a voice-to-voice conversation–usually a handful of them. Social/digital marketing is a supplement, not a replacement, for the phone.
The call you make should have been preceded by social marketing activities in the days or weeks prior where you ‘get yourself into the orbit’ of your prospects without any hard-sell. Then first thing in the morning, before the others snoozers arrive at the office, you’re hammering away with your COMBO outreach strategy:
- Phone their cell/mobile and if you don’t get a live voice on the other end …
- Leave a voicemail. Confident, to the point and without mentioning your products or solutions… just the value for them in having a conversation.
- Then immediately send a LinkedIn InMail or connection request (with context, not ‘cold’)
- Then send them an email.