In my sales training classes, I always include a section on how LOs can use social selling channels to increase brand awareness and forge quality relationships with prospects, customers and referral sources. I’ve built a successful business using social media marketing strategies so I know first-hand how effective they can be.
While lenders and sales trainers encourage originators to build a personal brand, they often leave originators in the dark about exactly how to do that. Social media outreach should be an integral component of every LO’s game plan, but it is important that producers understand how to use these platforms.
The Social Selling Advantage
So, what exactly is social selling? Hootsuite, a social media management company defines it as, “the art of using social networks to locate and build genuine relationships with buyers which can help salespeople gather market insights, warm up leads and nurture relationships.” In other words, these are online tools that can boost originators’ credibility, showcase their expertise and help them become top of mind among their target audience. This is similar to how newspaper advertising worked in the past for companies.
Although consumers and referral sources don’t want to be sold to online, they do want to engage with LOs during their respective journeys. Originators should view social selling channels as a way to increase brand awareness and ultimately build relationships with people they want to know — targeted prospects.
Best Social Selling Practices for LOs
Listed below are five social media success strategies LOs can use to hit their prospecting goals:
- Social Listening: By belonging to social media groups in their local communities, LOs can discover what matters most to their potential prospects. Groups associated with very specific geographic locations (like Nextdoor) or areas of interest (like first-time homebuyers) provide salespeople with endless learning opportunities so they can develop a sales strategy that matches to what is important to their target market.
- Likes & Comments: Liking and commenting on social media posts within specific groups is a great way for LOs to join the conversation. Originators who weigh in with insights based on their expertise can build relationships with referral sources and consumers.
- Educate & Provide Valuable Content: LOs who provide valuable content to their target audience via social media channels not only distinguish themselves from the competition but establish trust and credibility in the process.
- Complete Your Profile: This is a basic requirement but all too often, originators fail to complete their online profiles. LOs should be sure to post a professional photo and include a brief bio (e.g the About section on LinkedIn) to tell their stories and showcase their expertise. Accurate contact information is mandatory!
- Don’t Pitch: As tempting as it might be, LOs should avoid pitching their products and services on social media. Doing so is not appropriate and is viewed by many platform administrators and subscribers as spamming. Social selling channels are not the place to present a solution. Save the sales pitch for a one-on-one conversation offline, whether that’s on the phone, video conference or in-person.
The days of mortgage banking professionals advertising on shopping carts are long gone. However, social media channels provide LOs with infinite chances to build their networks and connect with prospects. By being active on social selling channels, originators can form lasting relationships with their ideal customers and position themselves for future success.