I try to watch and emulate others and you probably do the same. There is a lot of confusion, particularly with B2B, regarding how to implement social selling. Our hope is that these folks will inspire those of you are still on the fence and our goal is to share with you some of the best proven selling practices that you might wish to emulate!
Today we are joined by Cian McLoughlin of Trinity Perspectives. Cian takes the mystery out of social selling by consistently demonstrating key elements including …
- A desire to share, educate, and to promote others
Could you please tell our readers a little about you?
I was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, but Sydney, Australia has been my adoptive homeland for almost 20 years now. I’m a husband and father, an avid traveler and sportsman. In my spare time I enjoy writing and my blog has been voted one of the Top 50 Sales Blogs in the world for the past 2 years. In 2015 I also published my first book ‘Rebirth of the Salesman’ which went on to become an Amazon best-seller.
How about telling them a little bit about your business?
I’m the founder and CEO of Trinity Perspectives a sales training and consultancy business with a difference. We specialise in working with IT companies, to help them better understand why they win and lose the key deals they pitch for. We do this by engaging directly with their customers, through in-depth surveys and 1:1 interviews. We then take the learning and insights from this customer feedback and use it to drive a wide variety of sales training and transformation activities for the vendors.
How did you get started in selling and when did you begin adding social selling to your business?
Like so many people I know, I fell into the B2B sales industry by accident. Having completed an Arts Degree and Business Post Grad in my native Ireland, I traveled to Australia as a backpacker. I met a girl in Australia, who went on to become my wife and found an inside sales role with a small IT company, as a way to stay on in the country.
I vividly remember the interview when the CEO asked me what I knew about IT and sales. “Nothing” I replied, “which means you can teach me exactly the way you want things done and I won’t have any preconceived ideas about doing things differently” I’m not sure if it was my honesty or my naivety that won him over, but I got the job and the rest, as they say, is history.
I think the day I started in sales was the day I added social selling to my skill set. It seemed obvious to me from the very outset that building a rapport and a relationship with someone was imperative, if you were ever going to move them to act in some way. The tools, techniques and platforms have changed dramatically over the intervening years, but I don’t believe the fundamentals of sales have changed that much over the past 150 years.
What are your social selling goals, objectives, and strategies?
Goals: To provide value to people in my network. To be seen as someone worthy of introducing or referring. To harness the power of liking, reciprocity and connection.
Objectives: To create start new conversations. To keep learning and challenging myself. To use social selling as a pillar to help grow my business.
Strategies: To provide consistent, insightful and engaging content. To focus on 3 social platforms, Linkedin. Trinity website and Twitter. To build a consistent following and make it worth their while. To engage with other sales thought leaders and harness the power of their networks personal brands, whilst adding value back to them
Do you have regular routines?
In 2017 I am aiming to write 1 new piece of content each week, to be published on LinkedIn and subsequently the Trinity blog. Other content I write and post will be more ad hoc, but certainly daily activity on LinkedIn and Twitter is a goal….out of sight = out of mind.
How do you integrate social selling with traditional selling methodologies?
I don’t consciously do this…I simply see social selling (including the tools and platforms) as an extension of the other sales techniques at my disposal. Ultimately the goal of social selling is to get prospective customers off the social platform and engage them in a real conversation, whether face to face or on the phone.
How do you manage to stand out from the noise?
I focus on creating quality content. I build a network of influencers, who have large and established networks of their own, who help to amplify my message. I give before asking for something in return, which tends to create reciprocity and mutual benefit within my audience. I try to play the long game.
Could you please share with us a few of your favorite social selling tools?
LinkedIn is without a doubt the most important tool in my social selling arsenal. Twitter has been very useful for starting conversations and gaining access to some interesting content. I have trialed other platforms intermittently, but without huge success.
How do you track your results?
Sales pipeline and forecast…nothing else required in a boutique business like Trinity. If we are hitting our monthly and quarterly numbers and continuing to build and convert pipeline then we’re on track.
What do you feel are the biggest challenges facing salespeople as it pertains to social selling?
Understand what the term social selling actually means is the first obstacle they need to overcome in my opinion. Then working out what it means for their customers, their product/service and them as individuals. Avoiding falling into the trap of spending vast amounts of time on the ‘social’ side and very little on the ‘selling’ is a key challenge for them to avoid.
What about their biggest mistake that salespeople make when trying to implement social selling?
What is your “social selling superpower”?
Always aiming to be myself and express my opinions honestly and authentically
How can our readers get in touch with you to learn more?
Head to www.trinityperspectives.com.au to find out more about Trinity. Drop me an email directly on email@example.com or reach out to me on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/cianmcloughlin/
Please nominate somebody to answer these same questions!
I’d like to hear how John Smibert works it!