Last week Colleen Francis spent a LinkedIn live session on the concept of "Critical Mass Influence". Colleen is one of the top sales influencers on LinkedIn and the author of Non Stop Sales Boom. She understands the challenges of selling in today’s market like nobody else.
During the session she explained how Critical Mass Influence affects your ability to sell and how you can start using it specifically in B2B selling.
Today, influence has become vital to warm up your calls or during initial engagement with a future customer. It will help the seller in creating new sales opportunities. Using this approach will put you in another league of sellers.
Today, influence has become vital to warm up your calls or during initial engagement with a future customer.
Since people don’t like to talk to strangers, we can use all sources of information like referrals as an icebreaker during early engagement.
So what is Critical Mass Influence and how can you put it into practice?
Colleen stated that people are more important in the sales process than ever before. The truth is that we will never meet some of these people that are part of a buying group. We don’t even know them. Hence, the trick is to harness their influence in order to create traction with them.
So who are these people we need to influence in order to influence our customers?
They can be direct contacts like clients, vendors, suppliers or associations we, as a company, have a membership with. Associations that gather on a regular basis. In today’s world they can also be virtual (online conferences).
But next to these, we also have indirect centres of influence : people talking online or offline about us without us even knowing. In order to build our brand, value and reputation we need to participate in these conversations as much as possible.
Therefore, enterprises need to create a deliberate word of mouth programme on steroids.
First step is to know where your customers go, where they hang out and who they listen to (associations, websites,…). It’s then also wise to create relevant content or share content. Producing stories that affect your marketplace will do the job. If you start doing this repetitively, you will build a reputation in your domain and become a go-to person in your space. The more time and effort you are able to spend in networks, the better you spread your message and value.
The truth is that in absence of solid referrals, your number of influencers will quickly wipe out.
So it’s critical to make relevant noise to the right audience all the time.
Colleen gave some practical tips to start your own critical influence. Her secret sauce is:
- Pick 3 sources where your customers hang out
- Pick 3 types of content ( internal, external and content you create yourself from the news)
- 3 times a week comment using each of these sources
It’s a good starter to expand your network and start a sales conversation!
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