17Dec

Selling Through Social Media

There are many experts out there who will tell you that it’s impossible to sell anything using social media. And if that’s your view then it can be true for you too. Certainly selling consumer products is a lot easier than selling to businesses most would argue.

Not so fast I say. There are ways to make serious business-to-business transactions on the back of social media. I do it every week, because that’s my business, and you can too. Think of social media as a lead generation vehicle. Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, they’re all great lead generation vehicles. If you think about it the right way. Your job is to clearly define what happens with those leads, where do they click, where do they go, how do they interact with you…
Social Media is about attraction. You have to stand up in the marketplace and declare what you stand for. And you have to be both specific (narrow enough) and loud enough to be heard above the noise. And you have to be targeted. Only go for just the kind of potential client you want to sell to. It’s easier than you think when you have a specific plan for how to do it.
Does it create results? Well, here’s a little story from the past week: I get an email from somebody, let’s call him ‘M’. “Thanks for following me on Twitter…” M says, briefly describes what he does, and then suggests we talk on the phone. I’ll save you the longer story, but the fact is that’s about two weeks ago and we’re now discussing running a series of workshops together, with an estimated gross value of $60,000 for 2013. And that’s from just one connection on Twitter.
So did I try and sell M (or anybody else) something on my Twitter account? No. But I keep posting about what I do, how I do it, post educational videos, write blog posts. That’s what creates my attraction. And you can do the same. With surprisingly little effort once you have the right tools.
The take-home learning here is that over time you build trust and reputation. Following the simple formula know-like-trust. So when people approach you, there’s no need to convince them to do business with you, all you have to do, is find their needs and fill them.
3 months ago I ran a MasterClass which I advertised very heavily on my social media channels in addition to emails. As a result almost half of the attendees came through the social media efforts.
Need I remind you that those customers had a zero marketing cost attached to them? 
So, isn’t it time you got started in your business? Get started with developing a proper Social Media Action Plan, defining the success parameters for your business. Because the longer you wait the more advantage your competitors will gain in the space.
But remember to make it personal. Involve your team. Contribute yourself. While a lot of the menial tasks must be outsourced, you cannot outsource the soul of your business. It’s important in social media that you as a business owner or manager step forward and let the real you be seen by the crowd that hang out around your business. Let them understand this is your opinion and it matters.
What follows is they listen.
By Mike Boorn Plener
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