Selling happens in the social media space every day just like selling happens in the face-to-face world every day. Most of the time, people buy things from people not businesses. Sure, at some point, I head over to a website and provide my credit card information to complete a purchase; but that’s just the transactional part of the process. What got me to that site in the first place?
People buy from other people
When I recently purchased a new car, I shopped about six dealerships before making a decision. I didn’t make that decision because I was tired of shopping for cars. I love cars and could have shopped another six dealerships. Instead, I made a decision to proceed because I found a salesperson willing to take the time to explain what needed explaining.
In my case, I was buying a certified pre-owned vehicle, which would be only the second used car I’ve ever purchased. The salesman took the time to explain all the features and benefits of the pre-owned program this manufacturer offered. I was impressed. The extra $2,000 it would cost me was well worth it. It turned out I was in essence buying a slightly used new car with brand new tires, more warranty and lots of other pluses and perks. It took a person to explain all this to me and help me part with my hard-earned money.
The other salespeople failed
I contend the other salespeople just failed to understand what I needed to know. The gentleman I ended up buying from did very little talking early in our conversation. He was listening for what I needed to know and what would make me comfortable enough with him, his product and his dealership to part with a significant amount of cash.
Some of the other salespeople listened and some didn’t. The key is my guy ended up listening the best and offering the answers I wanted to hear. He differentiated himself from all the previous sellers very early in our conversation.
He also got to know me as both an individual and a business owner. This proved to be critical when the financial part of the transaction dragged on for more than two hours. He was able to talk to me about his past and tell a story that was compelling because there was some overlap with my story.
Social selling is the same thing
Wherever you live in the social space, you need to be listening at least as much as you are talking. Help people, answer their questions and point them to people who might be able to help if you can’t. What you’ll find is that you begin to understand what they need. I endeavor to do that here each day before I write a blog post. I try hard to write what I feel you want and need to hear today. Sometimes I write about what I want to; and honestly those posts don’t do so well.