How to Build Social Relationships for Sales
By Mike Stiles on May 23, 2014
Sales professionals have access to an abundance of blogs and articles offering to teach them how to use social media for sales. Many are quite good. Others are cryptic and vague because they’re trying to sell you something, like sales training programs.
Well, we don’t sell sales training programs at Oracle Social. So when I sling these tips your way, it’s more about fostering the appropriate & effective use of social for achieving your goals, but in ways that don’t annoy or turn off your social connections.
Tip: Cool Your Jets
Unless you sell jets. In fact, even if you do, making a social connection and then immediately hitting them with your pitch makes you someone to avoid. I know you need to hit your goals, but social relationship (and trust) building does not happen fast.
Tip: Get Over Yourself
People follow you on social for their purposes, not yours. Make the social relationship entirely about them, what they’re thinking about, questions/problems they have, etc. and they will be far more attentive to you.
Tip: Be a Consultant, Not a Salesperson
It’s no secret to your social followers whom you work for and what it is you offer. Go bigger and broader than that. Converse with them about overall challenges in the space, even suggesting some solutions or asset sources that aren’t yours. Be genuine.
Tip: Don’t Be a Curation Bot
Yes, you should share curated content. No you should not sling share an article every hour to all your followers. When you share an article with someone specifically because you paid attention and remembered they were dealing with that issue…that’s relationship gold!
Tip: Have a Thought in Your Head
The social nets are absolutely filled with people who appear to have absolutely no opinion or personal take on anything. Their original posts are vapid, innocuous, safe, and always sit on the fence. Yawn.
Tip: Get a Backbone
If I were a doctor, my life would be much easier if I just lied to everyone I saw and told them nothing was wrong with them. My patients would adore me! Sometimes, with the above-mentioned opinion in hand, you have to win respect by politely disagreeing and being honest.
Tip: Be Their Publicist
You can draw people to you if you give them what they want or need. What your social connections want/need is engagement with their content. If you promote them and position them as someone special on your channels, they’ll like you. Eventually, even the most self-obsessed will give you something in return.
Tip: Don’t Love ‘Em and Leave ‘Em
You were attentive and conversing with me until I bought something from you, and suddenly all that great engagement stops? Uh oh. I’m going to feel like I’ve just been had.
Remember, when it comes to social media for sales, you’re connecting at a disadvantage right out of the gate. You’re not as smooth as you think you are. They know what you’re doing, they know why you’re trying to connect, they know what you want. All of that has to be overcome over time with humanness, honesty, genuineness, value, and transparency.