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This Is the Secret to Improved Social Selling As content has become the currency of the modern sales professional, there's a content format that's proving incredibly valuable for those who want to stand out.

By Michael Litt

entrepreneur daily

This story originally appeared on Salesforce

When it comes to high-performing sales reps, it's easy to speculate as to what they're doing differently from the rest of your team (are they simply better at discussing problems with prospects? Are they especially charming?), but at the end of the day, sales superstars are able to deliver because of their finely attuned mindset, skillset and toolkit. These rock-star reps know the buying process is undergoing a massive shift, and they are actively making changes to their approach in response.

As part of these changes, many salespeople have gravitated to the social selling revolution. As Jill Rowley, social-selling evangelist and modern marketing expert, reiterates, it's all about becoming a content concierge for future customers to rely on. People trust their peers when making buying decisions, and when you share helpful content with your network, not only are you getting people talking about content related to your product and industry (perfect for facilitating opportunity creation), but you also become part of your buyer's sphere of influence.

As Celia Brown, editor of The Customer Edge, reminds us: "When someone we trust and consider credible recommends content to us, we are more likely to consume it and also to consider the curator as a valued member of our network."

Related: Tricks to Creating a High-Quality Video With Your iPhone

This established trust is the basis for social selling, and it's what can set your sales team apart. By showcasing that you've done your homework on various problems your prospects are trying to solve, you have the opportunity to make meaningful connections based on your expert recommendations and demonstrated domain authority. It's important to recognize that people don't want to be sold to, they want to be educated. Furthermore, if you personalize your content, your prospects are that much more likely to respond to you.

Fortunately, as content has become the currency of the modern sales professional, there's a content format that's proving incredibly valuable for those who want to stand out, and—you guessed it—that format type is video!

How Video Provides a Significant Advantage

While you're probably aware that video is changing the marketing landscape, you might not know how it fits into your role as a sales professional. Needless to say, its addictive power makes the play button an incredible tool.

As mentioned before, your job in sales has undergone a fundamental shift to suit new buyer preferences. Whereas you might have positioned yourself as such at one time or another, buyers have no need for you as a "quota crusher." Instead, they want your expertise in a no-pressure conversation tailored to their unique interests. The buyer already knows they have a problem, they just don't want to be sold to in trying to find a solution. Ultimately, you need to take on the motto "I'm not here to sell, I'm here to serve."

As a social sales rep, you can use your social channels to share content that your ideal buyer persona will find incredibly useful. You should also be looking to content formats your audience really enjoys. Based on how video influences your customers' decisions as an incredibly engaging content type, it's the one you should share most often.

From helpful how-to content, to educational recorded webinar videos, to high-level or fun pieces, videos are quick to consume, and help you "show and tell" extremely effectively. They help scale your message, and you can use videos to guide your prospects along their buying cycle as they discover and later evaluate your recommendations.

Related: The Secrets to Making an Explainer Video Stand Out

Moreover, it's time to look for opportunities where you yourself can create incredible content (including video!) to share on social networks. The barriers to entry have never been lower in terms of creating an effective scrappy video, and you'd be shocked at both the ease and effectiveness of sending your prospect a personalized webcam or smartphone video that caters directly to their interests or needs.

When you have an individual contact record populated with all of the videos a lead has watched, and their attention span per asset, this gives you incredible context for a call (or even a personalized follow up video sent direct to their inbox).

Personalized video content shows your prospect you'll go the extra mile, and the viewership data you receive for your efforts is often fuel for strengthening your connection with your prospect. Know someone's looking to implement a marketing automation platform? Why not send along your helpful tips for choosing a great platform in a list-type video recorded on your smartphone?

A simple email with a personalized video encouraging a contact to consume content related to what you understand they're interested in goes a long way, and it can become your new sales secret.

Related: 9 Steps to Get Your 'Social-Selling' Program Off the Ground

Michael Litt

CEO and Co-founder of Vidyard

Michael Litt is the CEO and co-founder of Vidyard, a video marketing platform helping marketers measure the impact of their video content.

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