In this article, Bodnár Ákos, from our agency in Hungary, shares 12 signs to look out for on social channels that might indicate a person is ready to buy.
The social selling methodology states that you must:
- approach the right person
- at the right time
- with the appropriate message
Simple isn’t it!? Well, it is if you know the right person and the right time! (we assume you’ve nailed your messaging!) So what sales triggers or signs should we be looking for?
Sales triggers / signs are offline and online events, moments, acts (insights?) That confirm the assumption in a B2B salesperson that you are the right person at just the right time to make a purchase.
So, Akos gathered his top 12 triggers to help you identify if someone might be the right person and is ready to buy.
1. Introduction of a new product or service
Suppose you are dealing with ERP systems. In a Linkedin status update, you see that Company X is launching a new service, expanding and looking for a fresh workforce. So far they haven’t been big. just a 50-person company and they weren’t interested in your corporate governance system tailored to larger companies. But now you see that they are employing more people and planning significant growth, so is now the time?
Yes! A company is usually open to new services when it is changing itself. It’s a great way to find them – and it doesn’t hurt to praise them a little on their expansion during your first meeting. Everyone loves to be viewed positively and recognized for their work:)
2. Opening a new office or department
The following scenario happened to me years ago. On the way to work one morning, I read on one of the news portals that a large American energy company was coming to Hungary. Since I had a Sales Navigator subscription at the time, I quickly searched for the company and saw that they didn’t have many Hungarian employees at the time. As I looked at them, I found who I was looking for – the newly appointed HR manager (based on his profile). I wrote to him right away to congratulate them on their growth and wish them all the best in Budapest. However, a new company needs suppliers, so I offered the services of my company. After 5 minutes the answer came: “Dear Ákos, your message arrived at a good time, let’s talk”.
In addition to industry changes, this is the other strongest sign that leads to the mapping of the right suppliers in almost every industry.
“Let’s live in the moment!”
Newsjacking works on a similar principle, i.e. reacting quickly to an important event or occurrence, usually with some content. It is often used by marketers. For example, a company that distributes an antivirus application writes or publishes infographics about IT security after a worldwide cyber attack. All this happens very quickly.
3. Industry changes
Because people like to do business with people, they thirst for communication – it’s just how we are. But since most people in the online space are passive, a useful ebook, article or whitepaper that is relevant and useful to their business success, is always welcomed.
Suppose you sell car fleets and your main decision-maker is the financial manager. A tax change is taking place, which also affects the eligibility of fleet costs. You send him a few articles about it. He’ll be grateful for the insights that could affect his business and remember you for being so helpful. Soon after you can confidently approach him for an appointment because you know a good solution to his problem.
4. New jobs, appointments
“A New broom sweeps well,” they say. Newly hired managers are usually more open as they are not tied to the company’s established methods and suppliers yet. A leadership appointment is among the strongest triggers.
These events are very clear in the Linkedin notifications section:
5. Like, comment, share
I don’t consider this the strongest sales sign, but it does express interest in a particular topic. It fits very well into a long touchpoint chain.
6. They begin following your company
Similar to the previous one, not all your followers on Linkedin are potential customers ready to buy, however, it is a very good sign that your content is valuable, so keep it up!
7. Joint group membership / tracked companies
For a direct inquiry, it may come in handy to have common interests. Such is the case with joint group membership or if a prospect follows the same companies. For example, if you are selling cloud-based systems and you have several potential customers in a relevent professional group, why not engage them in the common group before approaching them for a meeting? We have known since Cialdini that the feeling of belonging somewhere is positive and can help future businesses.
8. They watched your video (analytics)
It is commonplace to figure out new oil. A salesperson has access to an amazing amount of data today. The question is, what do you do with it?
Video analytics shows you which companies saw your uploaded video for at least 3 seconds. So, if you want to make contact with Company X and you have a Linkedin acquaintance or connection at that company, and the name of the company appears in your ‘watched video’ analytics, then that’s an excellent sales trigger. 🙂
9. They visited your website
Similar to the video, if your company site uses the opportunities provided by Linkedin, you can clearly see from which companies your website was visited. A very good sign, for example, is that after a bid, you see that the company’s website has been viewed more than once from the contracting company (using the Linkedin tracking code)
10. They opened your email and clicked on the content
There are several programs that can help you keep track of the emails you send. Many email and automation systems help you do this. You can see when the email you sent was opened and you will also get feedback if the links sent in the email were clicked through. This also eliminates the unnecessary follow-up of never-opened offers.
11. They accept the invitation to one of your groups
It is not a very strong sign, but it shows openness to the topic. It is similar in strength if you are the admin of your company page and someone accepts the invitation to follow your company page – the latter feature can be used for 1 month.
12. Changes in circumstances
This is a great trigger if you sell something that is perhaps related to a change in someone’s circumstances, For example, if you sell life insurance, there are countless life events that can make a person more likely to take out life insurance or new savings:
- birth of a child
- moving abroad
- new job
- purchase of a new home
- new appointment
Of course, there are plenty of other industry-specific events that could be listed – the point is, and what they have in common: in all likelihood, we’ve gotten a degree closer to a direct sale.
If you are insterested in optimising LinkedIn or other social channels in generating leads and identifying active buyers for your business, then please get in touch.
About the author
Bodnár Ákos is head of social at our agency in Hungary. Akos had been working in sales for more than 7 years in an international environment before working at an agency. He is a real data-driven marketing professional with a deep knowledge of social selling that is why Akos trains our clients on how to use Linkedin and sell in a digital world. Akos also manages our clients’ social advocacy and influencer programs.