Relationship Selling is a Commitment Process

Are you familiar with the negotiating practice of asking for a commitment for a commitment.

It’s an important one for building and sustaining relationships, and that makes it essential for successful sales professionals and online marketers

Selling is A Series of Mini-Commitments

Especially in regards to online marketing, there is often the unrealistic expectation of consummating a sales transaction without first developing a relationship with the prospective buyer.

Relationship selling is much like a courtship. There are intentional actions taken that are designed to build familiarity and mutual trust. If all goes well, each party agrees to make the big commitment.

Thus, what ultimately results in a sale is a series of actions or mini-commitments by people that will include some of the following.

Scanning your social media or blog headlines

  • Reading your article, blog post, or social media message
  • Clicking on your links to discover more
  • Sharing your content
  • Liking your Facebook page
  • Commenting on your blog
  • Making an inquiry with your business
  • Calling you on the phone
  • Showing up at your place of business

These commitments are lead generation tactics, and most of them can be tracked. This means they can be measured to determine their effectiveness, so that resources can be allocated accordingly.

Every Commitment Merits a Response

When your community makes a commitment to your business, they expect the same in return. Doing that earns you the next level of commitment, and the next, and so on.

Your challenge is designing a process that keeps all of that going until you have solidified a relationship that results in a sale, or at least a shot at their business when budgets or timing are more appropriate.

This is a continuous process of nurturing relationships using a combination of traditional and digtial methods, including social media, newsletters, email, phone calls, etc.

The key is to understand that every commitment of attention from buyers that your business receives merits one in return. Your commitment for a commitment both acknowledges and honors those that engage with your business.

Commit To Your Community with Social Media

What’s the most valuable commitment? It’s time. Fortunately, your business can now leverage the various forms of digital media to help.

Here’s a bold statement that happens to be true:

Not using social media to help your community is failing to commit to them. Tweet this

Businesses that ignore social media and content marketing are indirectly saying they are not interested in doing the necessary work to help their buyers.

Relying exclusively on one-to-one selling to help your communities is not only expensive, it forces the majority that use the Internet to get answers to go elsewhere, and that is rightfully where they will likely make their next purchase.

Sales and marketing has changed.

It’s time to adapt to a digital world. Tweet this

Forget about selling as you know it. Instead think in terms of creating media that is interesting and helpful.

Make a commitment to doing that well and your business will easily convert the interest and engagement that follows into profitable outcomes.

Make a Commitment to Your Success

If your business wants help building and refining it’s sales process, adapting to the influences of social media, and better responding to informed buyers, then consider my full-day workshop.

During 2014 I will be be offering my LIVE, hands-on, Relationship Selling in the Trust Economy workshop on a limited basis.

This is personal training with me, Jeff Korhan, at your place of BUSINESS OR ASSOCIATION MEETING. It’s based on my 30+ years in the selling profession as an entrepreneur and corporate executive.

Contact me to set up a 15 minute call to learn if this trademarked program is a good fit for your organization.

About the Author:  Jeff Korhan, MBA, is the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business – (Wiley 2013)  

He helps mainstream businesses adapt their traditional growth practices to a digital world. Connect with Jeff on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and Google+.

 Photo Credit

How To Network Like a Pro at Live Events

The New Motivational Speaker

One of the seemingly improbable outcomes of digital social networking is the increased interest in live events for building relationships to further to accomplish practical business objectives.

To do this well, while also maximizing your return on what is likely to be a significant investment, thorough preparation is essential.

This is something I’ve been working on for weeks to get ready for attending Social Media Marketing World, the worlds largest social media marketing event. I’ll have several responsibilities, including leading a small business interest group.

Am I anxious? Of course, but when I get on that airplane and look over my plan I’ll have the confidence that comes from planning for success. The following steps and ideas will help you to do the same.

#1 – Focus Your Attention on Possible Outcomes

My belief is many people think of networking as showing up, randomly interacting, and hoping something good will happen.

You have to be crystal clear about what you want so you can communicate it to others, and to recognize it when you see or hear it.

Here are possible outcomes to plan for when attending live events.

  • Learning Useful ideas
  • Discovering Opportunities for Partnering
  • Finding a Mentor or Coach
  • Forming Alliances
  • Nurturing current relationships
  • Connecting with Influencers
  • Launching a New Product or Service

When others are clear about what you want they can more easily help you. This is why your desired business outcomes should also be listed in your LinkedIn profile.

#2 – Articulate How Your Business Can Help Others

Everyone is looking for ways to grow their business. So, if you can clearly articulate how you help other businesses, you will much more readily achieve alignment for accomplishing your goals.

This basically comes down to crafting a statement that describes two things: We do this. You get this. If you wish, you can think of this as your “elevator speech.”

To then get that conversation going, consider some of the following practices.

  • Be aware – Pay attention to eye contact to know who does and doesn’t want to connect with you.
  • Do your research – Knowing something specific about others always makes for interesting conversation.
  • Bring a “gift” – This can be as simple as a compliment about someone’s recent blog post.
  • Buy a stranger a cup of coffee – Just walk up to a friendly person in the coffee line and buy their coffee. It’s a great ice breaker.
  • Think big – The best opportunities are often squandered because someone is not ready. What would you know to do if Oprah called? That’s the idea.

#3 – Increase the Probability of Favorable Outcomes

One of my habits at live events is writing out my daily schedule, starting with when I arise, meditate, exercise, have breakfast, etc. I used to think this was an odd practice until recently discovering others do this to budget their time and maximize potential opportunities.

A powerful tip for making the most of of live networking is showing up early for the event, as well as every day during the event. Go-getters tend to show up early, making this a great time to make invaluable connections.

Smart networkers always plan for serendipity at live events. Tweet this

In addition to being where you expect others to be, consider also being where it is easier to make connections, such as in the hallways while educational sessions are going on. When you avoid the crowds you can often have more relaxed and personal conversations.

Bonus: Debrief Throughout the Event

An invaluable practice for avoiding networking overwhelm is to digest everything on a daily basis. This captures what is relevant and builds your plan for what’s next. Here are some ideas for doing this well.

  • Always carry a notepad – always.
  • Use an App to quickly grab contact information.
  • Connect with everyone on LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter
  • Schedule tweets for the following week to reconnect
  • Make a list of promises and next actions

When you digest live events on a daily basis you are effectively doing your homework before going home. This is a trick I learned back in grade school so that I could get right down to having fun when I got home!

Live events are fun, but even better is being ready to enhance your business when you return with the help of your new relationships and ideas that give you a fresh perspective for accomplishing your business goals.

About the Author:  Jeff Korhan, MBA, is the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business – (Wiley 2013)  

He helps mainstream businesses adapt their traditional growth practices to a digital world. Connect with Jeff on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and Google+.

Photo Credit