It is funny how things change, but stay the same. Nothing demonstrates that like sales. I am going to jump on the Sales 2.0 bandwagon here, but I am going to present it retro-style.
Belly-to-Belly Sales Works
No sales techniques is as effective as sitting belly-to-belly, chatting, and liking who you are hanging out with. Think for a second… Have you ever created a long-term, highly profitable client via email? No. And, you never will.
The Internet is a great marketplace, a fabulous marketplace for connecting intent and offers. However, it rarely sells and it never creates a customer relationship.
What About Amazon.com?
But, what about Amazon.com? Perfect case study. Amazon.com probably thinks we have a fabulous relationship–thousands of dollars later. I got an incentive offer to buy online at Barnes and Nobles, another to purchase at a Borders bookstore. The result? Hundreds of dollars in lost sales revenue to Amazon.com. And, I would do it again.
I am not suggesting that Amazon.com get belly-to-belly with me. I am suggesting that if you are selling mortgages, real estate, or enterprise software that little “competitive opportunity” in your client relationship management will cost you thousands, hundreds of thousands, even millions.
I am also not suggesting that you suddenly visit every prospect in your sales pipeline. Here is what I am suggesting:
Get Social Online
I am a big believer in Internet marketing, but typically it is poorly executed. Many companies and individual hide behind the anonymity of the Web. This is the best way to reduce sales opportunities. People don’t want to buy from “anonymous.” They want to buy from people–people like themselves.
Social media has made this process easy. The variety of social networking sites have given you simple platforms to design your social selling strategy. No need for advanced knowledge of the Internet, web programming, SEO, or other technical barrier. Simply sign-up and give us a little introduction to who you are, what you do, and how you can help people.
Make Connecting Easy
Now you have a social presence–LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter (it doesn’t matter). And, I like what I see. How do I contact you?
This is the biggest mistake I see continually repeated. Remember, no one buys from “anonymous” or @HotRealEstateDeals or firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t obscure or anonymize your contact information. Make contacting you easy.
Even more important, if they contact you–answer the email or phone call. Talk to everyone. Talk to anyone. It will make you more profitable.
Play, Have Fun
Don’t make everything so stiff. Learn to play a little. Let prospective clients see you play a little bit. Post pictures, videos, places you are visiting, books you are reading, movies you liked, ideas you are thinking about, dreams you are dreaming.
No one likes to talk business all of the time–especially your customers.
Here is another secret: Those personal insights and playful posts attract people like you, people that will like you. And, people buy from people they like.
Take it Offline
You’re goal in your Sales 2.0 strategy is to attract online and sell offline. Build trust and depth with your clients by getting belly-to-belly, just like the Old’n Days.
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