Posted by Bill Griffin
My short bio
There are some sales folks that feel themselves lost trying to sell their wares on social media channels. This is a strange and fickle neighborhood where the prospects are like flies at a fully loaded picnic table. They are zinging around everywhere, hovering, landing and zooming away again from Twitter to Facebook to YouTube, Pinterest and the like, constantly moving from online to offline and back again. Never seemingly staying still long enough for the proverbial and tried and true sales pitch swatter to land with thunderous accuracy. They appear to have the attention span of feral ferrets with matching maturity.
The tenured and successful sales pro sulks away indignantly, hurt, confused, and wondering why any person would waste their time on such things. How can anyone sell using social media, it’s too busy, chaotic and apathetic? And it will feel like a very lonely place indeed if you are haranguing people to make a purchase without any consideration for conversation.
Traditional sales tactics won’t work on social media for a few reasons:
1.) People are wary of sales pushes on social media, it comes across grubby and one sided. The whole culture of social media is to converse and share. The look at me, look how great we are sales guy doesn’t have a sporting chance. There are way too many ways of blocking and filtering out such disruptions and commonly get associated with spam.
2.) It is fundamental for salespeople to “get in front” of the prospect, if even for a very brief moment. On social media there is no sure fire way of getting in front of anyone. The attention share is very limited and people prefer information and resources rather than sales jargon.
3.) Using social media as a standalone sale vessel will not get you very far. It would be a big mistake to not utilizes and combine all of your marketing efforts in a sales campaign. Social Media combined with email marketing, contests, compelling landing pages, calls to action, in real life meetings, unique deals and incentives would garner you a better ROI.
This doesn’t mean that social media and sales won’t work at all. What it means is that you have to go about it differently. Supply information; engage with your audience on fringe topics. Carry on conversations as you would in any social atmosphere. When people want to buy, they will now know who you are and what you have to offer.
1.) Build, grow, tend, nurture and engage your network. Befriend them, hang out with them. Empathize, care and do what you can for them. The more active and social you are the greater the results. Don’t sell, give information.
2.) Because the medium is different so should be your approach. Deconstruct your selling methods. Don’t sell with a slide rule, get creative, be unique and genuine. Stand out in a good way, be accountable. Move toward the fun and entertaining side of things, it’s much more effective. Big bold changes need to be made!
3.) Utilize the many social media tools; research and cyber stalk the people who make purchasing decisions. This is a revelation to some and common sense to others. Go where your prospects and leads hang out. What can be simpler than that?
Remember, the technology is the means. People skills are still the most important aspect of social media. Stay honest and transparent, fallibility transcends to trust, polished, slick, salesy types do not.
If folks want to buy something it’s easier now than ever before to shop or garner information online and the first place they turn to are recommendations from their friends and associates. Become their friends and associates on social media. When they need you you’ll be there, not to make the sale but to catch the sale.
How have you been approached with sales on social media?
What are some ideas you have on how to sell on social media?