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6 Steps to Selling on Social Media Messaging Platforms Instead of using email to find prospects, social media messaging can reap more benefits if you follow these steps.

By Tanner Chidester

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Have you ever heard of conversion conversations? This sales technique involves getting to know your prospect through an online messaging platform, creating a conversation, then shifting to a sale once they are qualified. The best part? It's entirely free if you do the legwork.

When choosing which social media platform to use for your messaging, keep in mind that Facebook is still the largest social media platform, used by 2.6 billion users, according to Statista. Pew Research found that 75 percent of high earners use Facebook. Instagram is more visual, so if you're selling products or services that look good in photos, or if you're targeting younger generations, go for Instagram. According to Statista, 32 percent of users are between 18 and 24, and 33 percent are between 25 and 34.

Related: 5 Tips for Selling Your Luxury Products on Facebook and Instagram

The pandemic has been the perfect time to turn to social media. Americans are spending more time online, as Kantar's data found a 61 percent increase in social media engagement.

Since company budgets might be tight in these current times, conversion conversations are a great, free way to build your sales funnel. The key to messaging is to say the right thing at the right time. Here are six steps to get you started.

1. Find leads through their interests. Use Facebook groups to find active members in your niche target audience. Seek out prospects who are looking for a solution. For instance, if you're a realtor, look up groups focused on people moving to your city and engage with people asking questions like "What's the best neighborhood to live in?" or "What are the best-rated schools in the area?" These people have a need and you can provide a solution.

2. Continue to post organic, helpful content, and reach out to your engaged followers. Filter through your likes and comments and reach out individually. Since they are familiar with your brand already, your messages can get to the point faster. Your followers are low-hanging fruit. They are already engaged and seek your expertise on topics.

3. In your conversation, relate to that person. Take a look at the photos or posts on their personal profile and use it as an opener to the conversation. If someone is posting photos of their dog, ask about their furry companion. Start the conversation and focus on them. Don't jump right into the sales pitch.

Related: The Social Selling System: Flipping a Follower into a Client

4. Once you get a sense that your prospect is comfortable, transition from getting to know them to your sales pitch. The key question: "What do you do for work?" From there, you can transition with the question, "Does it keep you busy?" Usually, the prospect will say yes, which leads you to your next question. "Does it make it hard to (insert your expertise here)?" For instance, if you're selling fitness coaching, "Does it make it hard to work out?" If you're selling ad consulting, "Does it make it hard to run your ads?" These are qualifying questions to see if they are a fit for your product or service.

5. Now you're in the sales pitch, and the conversion conversation feels more natural. Give your sales team a template of key questions to determine if a prospect is hot. These include:

  • What's your goal?
  • What's your struggle?
  • What have you tried?
  • Have you ever worked with a coach before?
  • Do you want help to be more successful?
  • Can you commit mentally and financially to get the help you need to reach your goal?

Make the offer. "I do this (whatever you're selling) all day long and would be happy to consult with you."

Related: 5 Tips for Harnessing Social Media to Scale Your Online Business

6. Push the prospect to a phone or video call. Not only is it more efficient, but this gives your prospect more authenticity behind the salesperson and quite honestly, puts the on the spot. Set a goal of having a firm "yes" or "no" answer before the end of the conversation. "Maybe" is the easy way to say no.

Don't get a response? Follow up after a few hours or at the most, one day. If too much time passes, you may lose the sale. With Facebook Messenger and Instagram DMs, you can see when people have read your message so a brief follow-up is not seen as invasive. If you feel that a prospect is non-commital, reassure them that those feelings are normal before making a big decision. It makes it easier for them to see the value.

Tanner Chidester

Entrepreneur & Business Coach

Tanner Chidester has grown and scaled two online businesses, Elite CEOs and Fit Warrior. Chidester has helped thousands of entrepreneurs grow and scale online businesses fast using social media.

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