Sales is Dead: Why Social Content is the Best Sales Tool
Ramon Ray, editor, Smart Hustle Magazine – www.smarthustle.com
No one cares about you.
No one cares about your business.
Everyone is distracted.
No one’s paying attention.
These things are all hard to realize but they’re true – with one exception.
They’re true until you, dear business owner, earn the attention of your prospective customer and are able to show them that YOU have a solution to their need.
Hard core selling is a short term strategy to generate short term revenue. If you want to succeed for the long term, if you want to build relationships with your customers and potential customers, first seek to educate them. Seek to get them to know, like and trust you. Seek to build a fan base of those interested in learning more from you.
Social media is the best gift that business owners can use to educate their customers. Supported by a website and blog, social media is the best way to consistently deliver a message to customers who want to hear it.
Instead of asking someone to buy your legal services or sign up for your logo design services, educate them. The lawyer who specializes in real estate should use LinkedIn to do a weekly 2 minute video with tips and stories to educate his customer on what they need to know to better invest in real estate. Over time, he’ll find a growing following who are looking forward to his knowledge.
The real estate lawyer, for example, won’t have to do any selling. From his or her followers, a certain percentage of people will seek him out.
When you take the time to educate your customers, to add value to them, you won’t have to CHASE down new clients, instead clients will be chasing you down.
Twitter’s a great way to frequently and succinctly share content of interest to your potential customers and somewhat related to what you do. Maybe you have a doggie day care business, what if you’re sharing every day cute pictures of your dogs and tips on caring for your dog? Over time your Twitter (or Instagram or Facebook) followers will see YOU as the expert in dog care and will seek you out for their needs.
Am I saying that “selling” is dead? Of course not – selling has its place.
However, what I am advocating is that you spend less time selling and more time educating your customers.
Each time you educate your customers it’s yet another occasion to remind them that you’re there for their needs. It’s another time to give them an opportunity to seek you out for your expertise.
Instead of focusing on 4 potential customers and trying to have them buy from you. Focus on educating 400 customers. If 10% of them buy from you, that’s 40 customers.
People are much more willing to be educated and given valuable insights than to be sold to.
Another advantage to leveraging social media for educating your customer is that you build your personal brand. The business owner with the stronger personal brand will often be more successful in their market. Your market might be defined by your local geography – a small town near Portland or Dallas or Atlanta. Or it could be a particular industry niche – like fire safety for tall buildings or organic fruits and vegetables.
For very small businesses, empower your traditional sales team to be educators. To seek ways to provide value to their customers and not just in the mode to “make a sale”. Instead urge them to use their smartphones to take video, record podcasts and overall make the customer a smarter customer.
By spending less time selling and more time educating you’ll get more sales.