Social selling is the effective selling technique of building a relationship with your customer. When you make a connection with someone, they’re more likely to buy from you. In the past social selling was done through cold calling and door-to-door sales. Finding new customers was difficult, and maintaining relationships with current customers took a lot of time, money, and effort.
Needless to say, the Internet has changed social selling, opening up new avenues of communication. You may participate in social selling on the Internet and not realize it. Do you already use sites like Facebook or Instagram to connect with customers?
By talking directly with customers on social media, you’re social selling. Whether it’s answering a question they had about a product, sharing a personal anecdote, or giving a behind the scenes sneak peek, you’re sharing your brand’s personality and giving them a sense of the value you offer.
Build Connections with Customers
Social selling is not social media marketing, though there are similarities. If you’re fishing, social media marketing is casting a net to capture as many fish as possible, where social selling is using a rod and a lure to catch one fish. Social selling focuses on establishing a relationship with one customer through the feeling of human connection, trust, and rapport.
Say one of your customers has a problem and comments on your Facebook page about it. Responding to them directly in a prompt and professional manner is how you maintain a loyal customer. Be careful about responding publicly, though, as the wrong wording can be taken the wrong way. If you’re worried about something escalating in the public space of your company page, be discreet and take the issue to a private message or phone call. Any extra effort you take to help your customer will build the trust they have in you.
Real connections go beyond just business. If one of your followers posts a technical question you can help with, even if it has little or nothing to do with your products, respond! By being there for your customer when they need help, your rapport and reputation will grow.
Likewise, start conversations that don’t have to do with what you’re selling. Join in with customers, learn who they are, and share a part of yourself.
Find & Research Leads for New Customers
Pay attention to your social media followers, and you will notice they regularly post about products they want, services they need, or problems they’re having. This opens a door for you to step in and provide valuable information. Avoid being to “pitchy.” People can tell if you’re hungry for a sale, and it’s a major turn-off. You can draw in new customers by simply helping and adding value to the conversation.
With social media, people give more information about themselves. You have the ability to know about your customers before you talk with them. Give yourself an edge by learning your customer’s demographics and shaping your approach to meet their needs. Scan their profile or page, read their posts, and know their business.
Your competition is already doing this. They’re using social media to develop leads and research potential customers. You should be doing the same. Put popular platforms – like Facebook – to good use by learning as much as possible about prospects.
If you print shirts for an organization, look to see what other organizations they’re affiliated with online and use this information to pitch to them. Ask if a mutual connection will introduce you. Build your reputation with interconnected customers to establish a strong customer base. If you maintain these connections and work new leads, your sales will grow.
As your customers learn about you and how you handle business, a connection forms. Social selling is the practice of using the real connection to sell your products and services. Don’t take these connections lightly. The success of your business is built on how you treat your customers.
Meet deadlines, communicate frequently and clearly, and make up for mistakes (it happens!). Then you’ll build social capital with your current customers. This capital will turn into reputation over time. As people know you and trust you, they will vouch for you and your business will grow.
Your online profile is the face of your company. Use your online presence engage directly with your customers, learn their needs and desires, and cater your sales approach for them. You’re building relationships with customers and future prospects, so when they’re ready to buy, you’re the one they come to.
Interested in more ways to use social media for your business? Download the free e-Book: The Ultimate Guide to Social Media for Your T-Shirt Business.