Jun 21, 2017
“For some reason, people are very open to connecting on social when they feel like it was an authentic and relevant conversation that they had.”
Today my special guest is Koka Sexton. I found Koka on LinkedIn when I did some research around the concept of social selling, and I’ve learned a ton from him online through all his social channels.
Koka is one of the most recognized social marketing experts in the technology industry. With ten+ years of sales experience and a passion for social media, he has become the leader of the social selling evolution, a topic that he promotes through global speaking engagements and customer trainings.
His expertise extends beyond his knowledge of social networks like LinkedIn, Twitter and social marketing applications into his skills of using them to drive lead generation, create new opportunities, and engage customers.
I think we both got some great benefit from the interview and sure hope you do as well.
“Back when I first started into this, it was like Sales 2.0., and I got really fixated on this idea of social selling as a term and helping define it. I really used that as my platform, and because of that, I became more well-known in the space. My core principle was this idea of visibility creating opportunity, and that visibility created an untold amount of opportunity for me.”
Can everything be done online?
This idea that you spend time online and building your professional brand – because it really does start off with an individual’s brand, that’s why they’re doing this. How are they leveraging that brand to communicate and identify, connect and engage with these decision-makers? Once that interest is there, once there is a value to that buyer, how do you transition that offline?
There’s many different ways to do it, but most of it is still very cut and dry. Once you’ve identified that this buyer has an interest and they’re engaging with your content and you’ve had a few back and forths, at that point, it makes perfect sense to say, “Hey, let me get your email address” or “Hey, why don’t I give you a call” or whatever that is to say, “let’s get 30 minutes on the calendar and actually talk through some of this stuff.”
I think that’s where a lot of misconceptions are about this idea of social selling in that somebody is telling you that all this can be done online – then that’s just e-commerce. That’s not what, in my mind, social selling is.
The fastest way to get your foot in the door
I’ve defined social selling as leveraging your professional brand to fill your pipeline with the right people, insights and relationships. Once you’ve started establishing your expertise in a space, once you are positioning yourself as a resource to the larger ecosystem – to your buyers – that’s how you’re building this brand of yours, and obviously leveraging that brand in a way that allows you to connect with these decision-makers at a much faster pace.
It’s going to be much faster to do these types of connections at this scale on a social network, than it is to be trying to send emails and get you on a phone call, because everybody’s so busy. If they don’t know your name or know your phone number, they’re going to delete your email, not answer your voicemail or even answer the phone.
Do you believe in sharing the multi-dimensional side of the personality?
The short answer is yes. The longer piece of that is, I don’t know how you can – I guess you can be successful if you don’t do it, but I don’t know how authentic the world’s going to see you.
There’s this old adage: People buy from people. And people are not one-dimensional; we are three-dimensional.