You should be using social media. Period. If you are in sales, you need to learn it. It’s the number one tool you have at your disposal right now. But a lot of salespeople misunderstand my recommendations; they get on social and start using the platform, but they’re using it all wrong.
So here’s a solid tip for all salespeople when it comes to social: Stop being so impatient, and start providing value.
Everybody is trying to close too early. You need to have that patience to set up the sale. It’s just as if you were closing a deal in real life; nobody comes up straight away asking someone to buy something. Social is about not only having a conversation but also creating a space in which you are continuously providing interesting content to your consumer. While specific functions and tactics will change depending on how the digital landscape evolves, one thing will always remain true: focus on providing value. Focus on what your consumer wants from you before you focus on what you want from them.
I am currently doing a YouTube show in which I answer people’s questions on a variety of topics. Viewers can ask me anything. I’ve received questions on small businesses, investing, cash flow, and even personal family questions. I don’t charge for the show. I don’t sell ad space on the show. I just do the show. Why? Because I want to provide that value. I could be doing keynotes. Talks. Speeches. I could write my own personal blog with thoughts I have, observations. But I’m doing the Q&A format because I want to get into the nitty gritty of what makes my fans tick. I want to help them, one by one, with their questions.
That is how you provide value. Because when I do come in with a sale, boy does my audience deliver.
So once you start giving, how do you know it’s reaching the right people? I have a couple things to get you started.
One, understand Facebook ads manager, unpublished posts, and audience insights. The segmentation on Facebook is incredible. It’s my number one platform right now, and it should be yours, too. If you only have the budget for one social media platform, please make it Facebook. You can read a bunch of articles on all the above things I listed, but in the end, just get on Facebook and play around with them, use them, check them out. There is no substitute for just getting in there and figuring it out for yourself. Here is the link to Facebook's ad manager to get you started.
Two, Twitter search. Twitter is a listening platform. Go listen to your consumers and potential new customers. You can pull people out one by one. Talk to them. Don’t just sell to them. Engage in a conversation. Additionally, don’t feel like you can only reply. Twitter is a great place to push out your content, especially multiple times a day. Because of the speed and noise on the platform, there is a constant diversity in content. So go ahead and post that link to your article twice.
But be careful with both these platforms. You don't want to spam people. Be tactical. Keep checking your actions against your core goal which is the aforementioned value. If your actions are lining up with that principle, you're on the right track.
So, what can your free content for consumers look like? Well, that’s the fun part. Stories. Free product. Entertainment. And don't just hit up the people who have more followers than you. Talk to everyone. Once you spend some time putting out that content and talking to the people who are consuming it, you can go in for that sale. It takes time, but it’ll be worth it. Customers get great content for free, and you make more sales because the incentive is already there. Everybody wins.
Originally published Mar 6, 2015 7:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017