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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Selling With Social

Social media is media that happens to be social.

To use it well it’s necessary to think like a media company, such as NBC, ESPN, or HBO. All of these companies manage multiple networks or channels that collectively represent their business brand for a socially influenced community.

Once you develop that essential mindset you are equipped to build a better social media presence, which you can later fine-tune it as you acquire more experience.

Sharing Earns Permission

You are ultimately doing this to earn permission to sell, and that is something that happens over time. Permission is earned, not taken.

Whether you are using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or any of the other social networks, the approach is always the same. You have to share content across multiple channels to attract and hold the attention of your audience so that you can occasionally make business offers.

Social marketing is a process of earning attention, then familiarity, and finally trust.

The idea is to use your social media to give your community something that gets them talking favorably about your business—then leverage its power.

When you do that, you respect the fact that nobody wants to be pressured to buy. Instead, develop a community that wants to be connected with your business—a tribe of fans that share common interests.

And what do fans do? They buy souvenirs.

Souvenirs are Symbols of Trust

We typically think of souvenirs as low-value, throwaway items. However, in our digital world so much is free that tangible items of all kinds are valued souvenirs of a shared relationship.

It’s the reason why sports fans spend a fortune on memorabilia just to feel a stronger connection to a player or a team, and it’s why some of your customers buy from you.

Many of your customers are your customers simply because they feel a connection to your business.

They are your tribe, and their desire to be involved extends beyond the quality of your products and services.

Personalization is Differentiation

In markets where quality is so high that consumers cannot easily discern significant differences, the differentiators are the subtle personal qualities associated with your business that you can amplify with solid social media networking and marketing.

Focus on personalization to engage your community and earn their trust and loyalty – and you will sustain your business.

Most companies still in business have been effective with traditional marketing. However, the “look at me” and “buy me approach” is less effective in our present environment where the voices of socially engaged consumers are readily being heard.

How are you earning trust to build your tribe of loyal customers?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts.

Until next time, Jeff

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