I reached out to an old friend and asked him what he had been doing. During the conversation he told me he had been ‘forced’ to learn about social media. At first I was a little amazed and then excited that he was entering into the new ‘sales game.’
Some aspects of selling have really changed. Sales professionals can use social media to reach out to and influence their customers. They can also meet new ones.
In fact to grow a business, it’s essential to reach out to your customers. If they don’t stay connected to you, they will make new friends with your competitors. If they make new friends, they will just disappear.
Below are 5 reasons why social media is a good thing for salespeople.
- Statistics tell us that 73% of customers will not make a buying decision before asking their friends for advice. Yes, both men and women. You may have experienced a longer buying cycle with your customers and wonder what’s happening. According to Google, customers often leave a store and then go to social media to “checkup” on the store and the salespeople. (This makes the case for a strong LinkedIn profile.)
- This is the age of transparency and customers want to know who they’re buying from. You probably realize that we are entrenched with reality television. Everything from “Hoarders” to “Swamp People,” we are engaged in other people’s lives.
- Do you know what customers are saying about you online? Managing your online reputation is essential if you expect to get good referrals. These days the referral business is up from 80% to almost 95%. If the customer doesn’t know who you are, it’s unlikely they will do business with you. It’s important to ask customers to write referrals for you. You should Google your business and see what customers are saying about you.
- Social media will expand your customer base. New customers will be more likely to be interested in your products and your services if they see you online. Each salesperson should be posting information about their latest jobs, products and staying in touch with possible customers. You can’t have too many Facebook friends and fans!
- Blogging is a way to expand your expertise. Consumers want to know about you and what your business can do. They are also interested in ‘who’ you are. No you’re not ‘Swamp People’ but you’re just as interesting. Don’t shy away from getting ‘personal.’
I suggest that salespeople contribute to social media daily. Some people hire outside consultants to manage their social media—not such a good idea. You want customers to stay close to you, not to your marketing people!
Lisbeth Calandrino has been helping businesses build sales and marketing strategies for over twenty years. It’s time for all businesses to merge their sales and marketing. Who knows their customers better than your salespeople?
To schedule a consultation or have Lisbeth speak at your business, reach her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.