Social selling – five key concepts

24th September 2018 |   Nick de Cent

Social Selling Five Key Concepts

Social selling is still about conversations. But you will need to update your sales model.

All of us in sales are well aware that the way people buy has changed. Salespeople are no longer part of the buying process “by right”. Thanks to the Internet, buyers are better informed and more autonomous than ever before. Somehow we have to be invited into the conversation.

But as one door closes, another one opens (as the well-know aphorism tells us) – digital has created new avenues for engaging with customers. In many ways, social selling is very similar to traditional sales; it is, after all, still about conversations. Yet, in other highly significant ways, social is completely different.

For example, the pipeline model for social selling is not the same as for traditional sales processes.1 Equally, social salespeople need a different but overlapping skillset compared with traditional salespeople: they still need responsiveness, authenticity, expertise, customer-centricity, diligence and resilience, but also patience, curiosity and an eagerness to learn, as well as general business skills and proactivity – in short, they need to be mini-entrepreneurs.

Founder of the International Journal of Sales Transformation | + posts

Nick de Cent is the founder and editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Sales Transformation. A business journalist for over 35 years, he has been covering sales since the mid-1980s and has been a strong advocate of enhancing its professional status. He has freelanced for the Financial Times and edited the Sales Performance supplement in The Times. He also writes and edits extensively on behalf of corporate clients, including a Big 3 management consultancy and a top four global executive search firm.