We were at NEXTGENRE Vancouver and this are our top take-aways from Shane Gibson's talk.
“Stop pitching and start connecting,” says Shane Gibson. It’s the human touch that really matters.
The social media analyst and co-author of “Sociable! How Social Media is Turning Sales and Marketing Upside-down” is certain about this: Establish connections and build a community with people. Building trust brings coveted clients to you, he says.
“Social media plus one-to-one with people can make a huge difference in your business,” says the international speaker, social selling and sales performance expert. People are going to self-educate themselves, so why not be that source of education? Show off what you know and teach it to others, he encourages.
Exponential influence is really about creating a magnetic brand; a vibrant personal brand that draws in business. And leveraging your position through other influencers will only strengthen that brand. Selling, he maintains, is about creating an environment where an act of faith can take place. It’s about actually believing the other person will deliver.
Gibson, a polished speaker, acknowledges he has been challenged before on what actually defines a thought leader, a sometimes over-used term. Thought leadership, he believes, encompasses three essential elements. Create and curate relevant content targeted to a specific audience. Next, engage with people on social media; interact and respond to messages and find meaningful ways to make it a two-way conversation. Then go beyond your personal brand by building community. Offer something of value that isn’t about selling or yourself, but of genuine service to the people in your locality.
He views a social sales funnel as the five stages of consent:
- Discovery: do you have a discovery strategy? Is your content optimized for easy discovery?
- Are you a great storyteller—one of the leading factors in getting people to consume your content?
- Interaction: are potential clients clicking on links and ads, visiting your website and/or asking questions?
- Connection: phoning, newsletters, and encouraging people to follow you on social media.
- Consent:Sell to them by educating them, staying in touch, and building a relationship.
Shane offers age-old advice that never goes out of style. Reply to email and comments, send a thank you reply, Tweet back to followers. Monitor, listen and learn. Create and curate content online and offline that fulfills a need and solves problems. Help someone achieve a goal. People don’t need 30,000 Twitter followers, just solid relationships with 20 people who have Twitter followers.
He relates the story of how he built a tribe of influencers by reaching out to non-competitors with social footprints. He started out with 14 people, growing to a present-day 50. Together, the group has a social reach of 30,000,000 people. More astonishingly, 14 people in his sales tribe made the Forbes Social Leaders list for the top 100 worldwide salespeople.
Ultimately, it all comes down to authenticity, the ability to engage with people in life, and fine-tuning social intelligence in order to build rapport.
Shane’s free e-book, podcasts, blog posts, as well as his hacks and apps for sales and social selling can be found at: