This is Episode 33 of This Old New Business weekly business podcast with Jeff Korhan.
Today we are going to talk about social selling, more specifically, using social media to sell.
Some people will tell you that you cannot use social media to sell. In my opinion that is because they do not understand successful selling is not about sales transactions, but relationships with buyers.
My sales career goes back to 1982, a time when your selling tools were the telephone and visiting face to face with customers. No computers, Internet, or email, not to mention no social media.
While a lot has changed, one thing that has not is building relationships. Now we can do that better and faster using the power of the Internet and social media.
Successful Social Selling: A Practical Example
Last summer I read an article about Laura Madison, at that time a car and truck sales professional in Bozeman, Montana. She was using social media content to attract buyers by helping them understand more about every aspect of the automobile buying process.
Laura created tutorials that helped her audience become better buyers of the types of services she offered. My first thought was: She gets it! And trust me, not many do.
Selling is nothing more than removing obstacles that prevent people from stepping up to buy. That’s easily accomplished by helping them do what they want to do. Maybe that means buying from your company, but not always.
Laura used YouTube extensively. She showed how to negotiate a lease, how to get better mileage with your hybrid car, and much more.
‘How to’ accounts for the majority of searches. Try it with Google to see for yourself how well it works. Once people get beyond ‘how to,’ they tend to buy. That’s good for the seller, and Google, which profits from AdWords sending buyers to sellers. Interesting, isn’t it?
Your online (and offline) marketing needs to be less about your business and more about how it helps its customers. Start by creating media and telling stories that shows how to buy and use whatever it is that you sell.
In the process of consuming that media, you will develop relationship with potential buyers. As Laura commented in our podcast interview, “I think in the future people will expect to have a relationship with somebody in a company before they will approach it.” I agree.
Assuming your products are the solution to your buyer’s problem, using social media to sell comes down to this:
#1 – Know Your Customers – You have to become one with your audience to really help.
#2 – Remove Buying Obstacles – Use social media to help buyers get what they want.
#3 – Nurture Relationships – Now you have technology to do this better and easier.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on social selling? Meet me over on Twitter to take the conversation further.
You can still get your virtual pass to Social Media Marketing World 2015. There will be over 140 speakers, including me presenting on this topic of social selling.
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About the Author: Jeff Korhan, MBA, is the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business and host of This Old New Business podcast.