The value of every customer you have increases over time. Honoring that value takes commitment and a solid strategy for attracting and retaining customers. Whether you’re building online relationships or maintaining them, Social Selling provides value at each stage of your customers’ path to purchase.
Customers are the life blood to every business. Smart salespeople work their network to keep the sales pipeline full. Even smarter salespeople use social media to develop relationships online and invest in their own “Social Capital.”
The Power of Social Capital
- It improves your productivity as a sales professional.
- It expands your professional options, putting you in charge of your own destiny.
- It keeps you from feeling isolated and motivates you to reach your goals.
- It can raise your overall quality of life.
In order to leverage your Social Capital, you must know your passions and your purpose. Building value-based online relationships starts with you. When you can stay centered on your purpose, it comes through in the communication you have with clients, co-workers and personal relationships.
“The right kind of leverage in a relationship allows you to extract value over time. How does one acquire that kind of leverage? Be the first person in the relationship to provide value.” ~Gary Vaynerchuk
In a world where 95% of what we’re exposed to is noise and 5% is useful relevant information, it’s critical to stay focused on your passions and your purpose. By staying grounded in your expertise, the next logical step is to ask, “How can I serve the customer?”
It’s simple: people don’t buy from those they don’t trust. Think about it, do you buy from anywhere or anyone you don’t trust? Build trust by providing value. What are some of the ways salespeople and business owners can provide value?
I worked once with the #1 BMW salesperson in the United States. She knew the first tactic to close any sale was to listen to the customer. When you ask thoughtful questions and really listen to what your customer is telling you, the lead happens. This is the groundwork for social selling with integrity.
2. Be Helpful.
What are your customers’ most frequently-asked questions? Take time to identify every question your customer may have along the buying process and answer it with your helpful content. Analyze your website and all other forms of media you use to attract buyers. The secret to having a successful content strategy (and by extension, success in Social Selling) is to be helpful. Being helpful builds new relationships and fosters better long-term relations with your repeat customers.
3. Communicate Your Expertise.
Everyone wants to buy from people who know their stuff! If your prospect or current customer is already part of your online community, you’re half-way there. Use content to demonstrate your expertise and show people what it’s like to do business with you.
4. Get Good at Social Customer Service.
71% of those who receive positive Social care are likely to recommend your brand to others. Now that you’ve developed your network for Social Selling, those members of your network will want to use social media to communicate with you. Pay attention to what’s being said about you online and be ready to address customer questions or issues on your various social channels.
5. Show Appreciation.
Put the spotlight on your customers – they’re the reason you’re where you are. That same #1 BMW salesperson has special ways to show appreciation for every customer she’s sold to over the last 25 years. Heck, I did a house deal with her in 2001 and I’m still getting Happy Birthday wishes. Remember, showing appreciation to your customers does not require a monetary gift. In fact, fire up your creativity and do something no one else has done. It’s not about the money, it’s the impact. Staying in touch with them via Social Media solidifies your relationship and provides value to that customer, who then shares their experience with their own network.
When you look back on the customers you’ve served over the years, were you the one who was first to provide value? If not, now you can be. When you provide value, you grow your Social Capital. Invest in yourself, take the time to build and maintain those relationships and soon you’ll be reaping the dividends.