Have you heard of social selling? Many wealth managers I speak to have not, yet they may be doing it without realising it. The basic idea is that an increasing number of businesses are using the major social media platforms (primarily LinkedIn and Twitter in the case of financial services firms) to ‘sell’ without actually ‘selling’, which is a dirty word to most wealth managers!
In terms of the business case for the proactive use of social media to build your business, according to LinkedIn:
- Just over 63% of social sellers report an increase in their sales revenue, versus 41% of non-social sellers
- 84% of social sellers use LinkedIn; 48% use Twitter
- 74% of consumers do research online before making a buying decision
- 65% of buyers feel that a vendor’s content had an impact on their decision to buy
- Your next generation of clients are 5x more likely than previous generations to think that social networks will be the hub of their financial information in the future
Pretty compelling stuff. So here are my top 5 tips for wealth managers to get to grips with social selling (actually they are more like questions you should be asking yourself, but hopefully they will stimulate the grey matter):
1) Just because you have a LinkedIn profile doesn’t mean it is resonating with your prospects and clients! Is it written in the first person? Have you written an interesting and engaging summary that is not just a list of your career achievements? Have you added a company brochure or other material to your profile? Is it keyword-optimised?
2) Have you run advanced searches for your target clients or introducers, saved them and set up alerts? How much can you find out about your target contacts before you connect with them? Please don’t just send a generic invite when you connect – tailor it to the reader.
3) Does your employer have a LinkedIn Company Page and are you following it so you can like, comment and share regular updates with your contacts? Are you following your competitors, introducers and target firms on LinkedIn and Twitter?
4) Do you have a content strategy, either at a firm or individual level? How often do you post? Are your posts informing and educating your clients (good) or is it a sales pitch (bad)? If someone engages with your posts, what is your process for responding?
5) Sync up your phone’s address book with the Twitter app and follow all of your contact on Twitter. This is great way to stay informed and may provide ‘social signals’ as a reason to get in touch.
As you can see, there is a lot more to social selling than merely having a LinkedIn profile. Many of my clients are thinking about how to ‘future-proof their business and social selling is a great way to begin this process. Finally, check out your personalised Social Selling Index to see how effective your LinkedIn activities are.