Dean DeLisle, is the Founder and CEO of Forward Progress, Inc.
Dean started Forward Progress 13 years ago. When digital and social media came out, Dean wanted to educate salespeople on how to use it effectively.
The biggest myth around social selling is that it is as simple as putting up a LinkedIn profile. Opening a door does not automatically invite and attract customers.
A study shows that 75% of execs who buy use social media. Connect with enough people to engage with active buyers you can serve.
Buyers today do not phone their friends for purchase recommendations; they go to social media connections, and ask them for product recommendations. People trust their network.
IDC says buyers are coming into the sales cycle later in the buying process, after their own research. The buyer’s credibility is on the line with each purchase. Connections in common with the vendor or salesperson provide validation.
Social teaming is derived from sports team practices, and their recruitment vetting profiles. Dean coaches entrepreneurs to determine, and team up with, the top five people they know well, that would give reciprocal referrals.
Dean found 92% of people are actually spending most of their time with people in their network who are not good candidates for their top five team of referral producers.
When their top five people aren’t performing, they need 10 more to back them up. Those are the bench. The next 25 on the list are the practice squad. This team of 40 represents the authentic relationships people can manage. Connects to two of the 40 per day, socially, acknowledging mutual business interests.
The relationships are scored 0 to 5. A “5,” is a close connection that will regularly provide referrals, sometimes without being asked. You can also look at their social connections and ask for referrals you need.
How do I identify my top five? Look at the people you know who already help you. Find the most helpful one, and look for four more like them.
To scout for new team members, at a networking event, consciously connect with people you haven’t met, and evaluate them against your top five. You may discover “the next starter.” Daily pick two of your 40 to consider to advance.
Not everyone on LinkedIn is your team. Focus on relationships with people you can help, and who can help you. Dean’s team is developing a mobile app with an AI relationship engine to make recommendations. Until then, it’s all manual.