How You Can Master Social Selling to Get in Front of Any Customer

04/13/2015 11:55 am ET | Updated Jun 13, 2015

If you run a small-business or a small marketing team you can't market like McDonalds or probably even your largest competitor. So why bother trying? Paid ads, cold-calling and online marketing are all great and they definitely work. But there is a better, cheaper and faster way to shorten your sales cycle, get the attention of any person or business you feel needs your help, and close the deal. Here are the 3 things you need to do:

1) Recruit Customers -- Since you're small you can pick who you'd like to work with and be personal in how you speak to them. We call this recruiting customers. You simply make a list of 50-70 people or businesses you'd absolutely love to work with. Then, use social media (hence the term social selling) to find out the perspective buyer's likes/dislikes and tell them how you can help with something. The last thing you can do is send them a note, gift, custom video or something that gets their attention and shows how much you'd love to help them solve their problems (more on this later). Big companies can't get nearly that personal, nor do they probably want to.

Take email for instance. Big companies send out mass emails that sound personal because they address you by name... they are really just the same generic fluff sent to everyone. As a social seller that recruits customers you can actually be personal and tailor your communication specifically for a prospective customer. What do you read more? Personal emails addressing your problems and praising your accomplishments or ones that address you by name and just throw a blog post in your face?

2) Use Your Location To Your Advantage -- There's a simple rule of thumb when picking what communication medium works the best -- the more direct the better. Meet someone if you can. Call or email if you can't. A social seller jumps at the opportunity to meet in person and discuss how they can help. Email and phone calls can definitely be used to close deals, but as Woody Allen says, 80% of success is showing up. It makes a difference! I'm sure you can recall a time when your email was misinterpreted or your voice muffled due to a bad phone connection. There's no better way to show your eagerness for a deal than with an in-person meeting. A good social seller takes a face-to-face any chance they can get and wins more points in the 'I care' department than a sales rep that sends unsolicited emails. You get bombarded with unsolicited emails all day....just like your prospective customers do. Very few people will make an effort to visit and talk brass tasks. We surveyed our last 84 business leads and the likelihood of us getting a deal increased by 97 percent when we met a prospect in person. 97 percent! Show up when you can.

3) Pay The Price -- A social seller knows their target customers. After all, they've spent time recruiting them and got to know them online. There is a good chance they know what school they went to, what their interests are, friends they may have in common and what's on their mind these days (particularly if their target is active on Twitter). This information is readily available in places like LinkedIn or Facebook. With all this knowledge a social seller can send a small gift to the perspective customer. Is it creepy? Maybe, but does it show eagerness? Absolutely. What would get your attention more? An unsolicited email or a pen from your alma mater with a hand-written note and a poster offering solutions to your problems mailed to you? One may cost you $50, but at least it's a legitimate look at the basket and shows an eagerness to help. A social seller is fine with that because they've taken the time to focus on what people and businesses they really want to work with. Another option would be to surprise your customer with a snapshot of your services free of charge. A graphic designer can whip up a cool flyer for a business they want to work with to showcase their work or a restaurant can drop off free samples at an office they want to get business from. These all cost money, but the social seller knows the value in the long-run of paying the price early.

Social selling and recruiting customers doesn't mean that everyone will do business with you. That depends on your offer, timing and a myriad of other factors. However, social selling and recruiting customers does make it impossible for anyone to ignore you. Which we can all agree is very powerful. Follow these steps and you'll get on the radar of anyone you need to.

Ready to start getting more customers? This toolkit outlines all the apps that the best social sellers use to get in front of any potential customer they want.