By Tom Hopkins, sales expert and author of When Buyers Say No
I entered the field of selling at a very young age and proceeded to fail miserably. The very short story of what led to my eventual success, setting sales records that were unbeaten for decades, is that I made selling my hobby. I studied every nuance of it from the impact of my first contact–literally dissecting the response to every word I uttered–through to strategies for keeping clients happy long term.
Even though I enjoy the benefits of today’s social media platforms, I understand what they cannot do. Social media isn’t a replacement for the sales process. It’s a communication tool–not unlike the telephone, email, and texting. It’s a tool that’s been added to the arsenal of communication means for sales pros.
Social media can be a fun marketing tool–expanding our reach beyond traditional advertising methods. However, the primary use of social media, as I see it, is to nurture relationships. It’s a way to build your brand, then to build trust in your brand. It’s a communication method for having some fun with your clients. And, it’s a fast way to respond to client questions and concerns (aka customer service).
However, what social media hasn’t replaced is the sales process. You won’t succeed in social media without applying sales strategies and tactics to your posts, your Tweets, and your updates. You can’t tell, tell, tell in social media and expect involvement. That would be like television ads being expected to directly generate orders for new cars. Granted, they pique interest and generate leads, but that’s when the real selling begins.
Applying both marketing strategies and sales practices to social media is where you find your biggest win in generating qualified leads. The selling is up to you.
Copyright Tom Hopkins International, Inc.