While social media is becoming part of the fabric of our personal lives, it is far from mainstream when it comes to mainstream businesses.
You may be surprised to learn that percentage of businesses NOT using social media is much greater than those that are.
Actively using social media does not mean you have a LinkedIn account, rather, that you are using it using it to connect the dots to new business. If you are honest, you know that you aren’t.
We can all do more.
The power of the social networks is their ability to make connections that give your business enormous potential. What happens after that is up to you and your sales skills.
That’s the opportunity with LinkedIn, and the same holds true for Facebook, Twitter, and so on.
The Essential Sales Component
When I graduated with my MBA the top marketing jobs were on Wall Street and Madison Avenue – and they were available mostly to graduates from top tier schools like Harvard. That was the picture here in the United States.
The rest of us were suddenly thrust into a related profession we had little experience with – sales. Selling is not something that is taught in most business programs, and certainly not in most MBA programs. It is traditionally considered beneath marketing.
Fortunately, Zig Ziglar changed that. His contribution to the world of selling is immeasurable, because he made it honorable and respected.
Sales skills are essential for getting results from social media. Those that practice selling know it requires organization and effort – at least in the mainstream “brick and mortar” world.
In a digital world, effective marketing is becoming indistinguishable from selling. Yet, in a brick and mortar world, selling is selling. Without it, your social media marketing will fall short of completing the social marketing process. You have to engage your sales process to complete the cycle.
Relationship Selling in the Trust Economy
The process of social marketing should ultimately convert attention and engagement into profitable outcomes. That means there has to be a way to translate trust into sales — and hopefully relationships that lead to repeat business and referrals.
To be clear, the one thing that stands between your social media engagement and cashing checks is the integration of basic selling principles with your social marketing process.
A lot of experts may tell you it is easy to use social media to grow your business — which is why so many small businesses give up just as they are about to achieve what they have rightfully earned.
The state of social media for business may be coming down to one of two options.
Either learn to engage it with your sales process – or abandon it completely.
How about you – are you ready to sell?
Leave a comment below – and please share with your social networks.
Until next time, Jeff