How Selling Builds Your Tribe


The practice of selling is traditionally considered a transaction or event in which there is an exchange of value between the buyer and seller, and presumably close to equal value.

If selling it is indeed an event, then by definition it has to be considered an ending.

No wonder most people find selling and associated practices such as cold-calling to be challenging.

Why not  instead consider every single interaction with prospects and customers to be a new beginning of something that is more than a relationship with the business, but also every other buyers of that product or service?

It could absolutely change everything – and for the better.

The Business as A Connector

Prior to the digital age the relationship a business had with its buyers was all that mattered. Now the relationship buyers have with each other may be even more important, both for the them and the business.

Instead of focusing on individual buyers, smart businesses are learning to reframe their thinking to understand the dynamic of what is commonly referred to as the tribe, a community that is collectively more than the summation of all its members.

The tribe is a force that when harnessed can transform a business.

Has your business considered how it can bring its customers together to get to know each other? Live events used to be the only means for accomplishing this, but now that we have digital connectivity beyond measure, the possibilities are limitless – and so are the opportunities.

The breakthrough for building a tribe begins with giving as much consideration to connecting them with each other, as with the business itself. This should be a top priority of any social media strategy.

Nothing Connects Like Shared Ownership

Those of us that are active within content marketing circles have been using content in the form of blogs like this to build communities that are aligned with the value derived from it. For that to happen, there has to be an exchange of value, as well as interaction, which is getting increasingly difficult to achieve.

To have interaction that builds a tribe there has to be buy-in, and that often comes from ownership.

Ownership creates a strong, and hopefully permanent connection with your business, one from which a relationship can be built that transcends that transaction. More important is it also connects each buyer with each other.

Selling to buyers connects them to the business, as well as other buyers that share the same connection, one that can become the seeds of a tribe.

For months I’ve tracked those that have purchased a copy of my book. This includes social mentions and direct sales when I’ve presented at live events. They are my tribe, as I know many have recommended the book to others.

Do you own a copy of Built-In Social? Then you are in my tribe!

If so, please send me an email (or use this) so I can be sure to include you in my trusted inner circle.

I want to share with you what I’m working on next – and help you connect with other like-minded folks. Plus, you’ll get special offers that will never be offered anywhere else.

That’s a promise.

About the Author:  Jeff Korhan, MBA, helps mainstream small businesses create exceptional customer experiences that accelerate business growth. Get more from Jeff on LinkedInTwitter and Google+.

Jeff is also the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business – (Wiley 2013)

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The Power of Questions for Attracting and Engaging New Buyers

Jeff Korhan - Questions Engage Buyers

Content marketing makes your business more attractive to prospective buyers by eliminating questions that stand in the way of them engaging with your company.

Thus, when thinking about selling products and services, it’s smart to first consider the most relevant questions that need to be addressed. I just recently had car graphics London ON wrap my vehicle. It is a statement. It starts conversations. It makes me money. There are so many things that we can do offline that will increase our clients online. Think outside the box.

Have the mindset that social media puts your company in the answers business.  

Questions have to be answered to engage buyers on a web where more than 50% of all consumers go for answers to their most relevant problems, needs, or desires.

Following are 3 reasons why your business should be asking and answering more questions.

Learn to leverage this practice to engage new buyers, build trust with them, and create the alignment that makes your business memorable.

#1 – Asking Questions Engages Buyers

Consumers are often afraid of asking questions, or they simply do not know which questions they should be asking. This is something I discovered by accident when I launched the landscape business that I operated for over two decades.

Before entering an industry that was then new to me, I conducted extensive research to learn about standard practices, which surprisingly were seldom followed by many local landscape businesses.

So, I asked questions that got prospective buyers thinking, and then provided answers that got the phone ringing. 

When the truth hit the streets it spread throughout the communities we served; and in a short period of time our previously unknown business was the talk of the town. This was before the Internet, so we were using print media to reach our target audience.

Questions are differentiators. They show you understand your small business and its ideal customers.

Use questions to engage your social media communities. It is a practice that is a vital component of successful social marketing.

#2 – Asking Questions Builds Trust

For consumers and businesses alike, it is easy and therefore common to follow the crowd. However, when your business asks good questions it soon becomes apparent to your buyers that you honestly want to help them make better decisions.

For example, what is the question that is on the mind of every prospective buyer: What is the price?

This is the question that most companies dread, when in reality it is one that opens the door to let the buyer into your world of truth and trust.

Price is much more than a number. There are short-term and long-term costs associated with price. Those long-term costs are not always evident, and smart buyers intuitively know to ask about it. When they don’t, you have to ask for them.

When you ask your buyers if they want to know why your price is higher, you will get their attention. People are curious and your willingness to be transparent will be refreshing.

Nobody wants to pay the higher price, but educated buyers will when you validate your price with evidence that suggests other companies are taking short-cuts that will cost the buyer more over the long term.

Content marketing educates buyers about a practice known as “lying by omission.” If something should be included but isn’t, you have instantly eliminated that company as one that is not trustworthy.

#3- Asking Questions Shows You Care

Traditional marketing in the form of advertising was the business telling the marketplace what they thought they needed to know.

Today consumers have a voice and they expect to be engaged in a productive dialogue. Your questions will bring up more questions that will feed that conversation, and more important, demonstrate that your business cares about them.

When you care enough to ask you humanize your business, thereby building the trust that is essential for prospective buyers to step forward and take action.

Even if they do not buy today, you will have planted the seeds for them to come back after they have done more research.

Have you ever gone to a website where the “support” or “help” is packaged within a short list of FAQ’s – frequently asked questions?  Often you cannot find the question that thoroughly responds to your particular concern.

This is why the practice of content marketing is so powerful. Answering questions in a narrative format creates familiarity. It helps the buyer see their situation in the solutions you have provided for your customers.

Your job as a content marketer is never done, because the most relevant problems are chronic. You have to keep doing this again and again to learn more, while serving up more relevant solutions to the most commonly asked questions.

Your sales team is providing relevant solutions every day – and so is your content marketing. This is one reason why social marketing is the new relationship selling.

Ready to get started?

If you would like to get the full story of how I used content marketing to launch my landscape business, read the Introduction to my new book:  Built-In Social, by downloading it and Chapter One for FREE right here.

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.

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

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