Despite what some organisations might lead you to believe the answer to ‘social selling success’ in a business to business environment is NOT a premium subscription to their service! In fact, social selling is completely free and a highly effective use of your time when done properly.

Last Friday I helped 95 businesses come together to exhibit at an annual event I organise called the Worcestershire Festival of Business. Now in its fifth year this annual celebration of enterprise and entrepreneurship has grown to become one of the area’s premier business events.

Now here’s where it gets interesting, most of the exhibitors and visitors attending already knew each other BUT had never met before. That’s because the Worcestershire Festival of Business was born on social media and its mother was a hashtag!

#WorcestershireHour™ uses the global platform of Twitter and harnesses it for ‘local benefit’. The hashtag is now one of the most used business marketing tools in the County of Worcestershire with 26,000 users in the past twelve months. During the same period tweets containing #WorcestershireHour have landed in 18.4 million unique Twitter timelines.

Twice weekly Worcestershire businesses, charities and communities come together on Twitter for a concentrated hour of virtual networking. These take place at 8pm on Mondays and 12 noon on Wednesdays. By adding the #WorcestershireHour hashtag to their own tweets and searching Twitter for the hashtag they can see the tweets of others taking part. It has become THE place for local businesses to find new suppliers and tradespeople. A place to promote business and charity events, a platform to seek sponsors or business collaborators. It has been described as “better than Google for finding local suppliers!”

This is REAL ‘Social Selling’ in action. Businesses use social media to share information and news, those interested respond and the online contact may become a phone call, that phone call might lead to a meeting and that meeting may result in a proposal that then leads to business being done! This is not to be confused with ‘Social Media Marketing’ which simply posts traditional advertising (adverts and videos) on social media platforms.

By forming business relationships and building trust online BEFORE you meet face to face, you already know who you want to work with, before you approach them to discuss your requirements. This reflects 100% how we research and buy the things we need as consumers in the digital age. Business owners and sales people must quickly adapt to social selling or risk being consigned to the history books (or should I say history blogs?).

Thanks for reading.

Stuart Allen @StuartAllenFCMI

01905 384314 or email stuart@thesalesperformance.co.uk

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Social media and sales training in Worcester, Worcestershire and across the UK.