We live in a digital age, the age of communication and instant information. What once took hours, even days to reach people across the globe now only takes a few quick keystrokes and a matter of seconds. But don’t let me bore you with what you already know. What I’m really trying to get at is the fact that, when approached correctly, social networks are viable channels for sales and endless opportunities are within arm’s reach. All sales and business development professionals should consider leveraging this global social trend to broaden their sales funnel or you may one day, find yourself obsolete.
Back In The Day
In our grandparent’s time, business was conducted on a very personal level. The local baker knew what type of bread each family preferred, the butcher began cutting your favorite cuts as soon as he saw you walk through the door, everyone and I mean everyone, knew each other. This was relationship building at its best. Businesses across the globe lost this personal touch as time went on and our world grew a little bigger and busier. Until now.
7 Billion Strong
Yes, our world is no mere village, with over 7 billion inhabitants of planet Earth we are larger and more spread out than ever. Yet, with the advent of social media and its popularity, we have built a global network in which we are all connected; social communities like Facebook , Linkedin and Twitter unite millions of active citizens from all corners of the globe. In addition, smartphones are becoming commonplace in people’s lives allowing interconnectivity with the world whenever and wherever you are. This remarkable and ever-changing technology leads to one thing: communication. And as a business owner, salesperson or marketing executive this is key to reaching a broader audience and more importantly, building a closer relationship with your existing clients and prospects.
Laying The Groundwork
Get to know your social network, it’s great to have 2,000 followers but it’s best to have 200 that you truly know and engage with. Find out about their life, their work and their hobbies. Talk to them as you would a colleague or close friend; let them know you’re listening and that you care about what they have to say. After all, people just want to be heard. This is all part of that “relationship building” I was talking about earlier. So once you build that foundation of trust and friendship, you’ll be more credible when you pitch your business and its services. I say pitch with light reserve as you shouldn’t be pitching your business on social networks- it’s spammy. However, leads don’t always just fall in your lap so use your social network wisely to target specific companies or individuals who could benefit from your product or service. In addition, a humble tooting of your horn from time to time is highly recommended. Design an awesome project that just got posted in the city’s newspaper? Sealed a deal with a major distributor? Your new hire is kicking butt left and right? Toot that horn, baby! You’ll find that not only are people more likely to ‘Like’ and share your post but it also may strike a chord with a reader causing them to pick up a phone and call you directly.
Regardless of what channel you use, never forget that personable, peer-to-peer communication is key. Remember, it’s not about you, your business or your products; it’s about your followers, their life and their interests.