It used to be that if you want to sell a product or service, you simply needed to carry out high volumes of prospecting, have a fairly decent conversion rate and the rest was down to your charm and powers of persuasion. Oh no… not any more….
There’s so much more to consider now, and I’m sorry to say that there’s no silver bullet. I’ve spent some time recently with some
businesses talking about how to convert online engagement on social media channels into real life sales.
Most people know how to grow their Followers on Twitter or encourage Likes of their Facebook page, but once you’ve done that, you’re no closer to actually making a sale. If your product offering requires a sit down conversation (a consultative sale) then you need to entice your social media prospect, into the hot seat.
Twitter followers are 3 times more likely to mention or advocate a brand online – in fact, 80% of Tweeters mention brands in any one month.
Here’s 4 simple things to get you started with your overall sales strategy…
- How well do you understand your target customer? Build an Avatar of your ideal customer – who are they, where do they hang out online, what are their problems, are they facing any challenges, do you sell something which solves their problem? Really identify who they are.
- Do you have a product staircase? Which one of your products is your entry-level product? And once you’ve sold that one, which product does your customer buy into next? Of course this is only relevant if you have multiple offerings. When you have your staircase built, think about how you map your customers’ problems to each product and how you might introduce these concepts to your customer.
- What is your ideal customer lifecycle? How long do you intend to keep your customers? The longer the better I’d imagine. Their CLV (customer lifetime value) will grow as you move them up the staircase and through your portfolio of services. Once you know what the lifecycle looks like, you need a top-notch communication and service plan to help you build an unrivalled relationship.
- Data, data, data. You need to be able to measure what’s happening in your sales funnel. Using KPIs to help track performance will allow you to spot trends, pick up gaps in performance more quickly and celebrate when things are working well.
So, now let’s consider the Social Media aspect… social engagement is all online, but your goal is to move from online to offline as soon as you can (so that you can have a valuable conversation with a real life human being, soon to be your newest customer). You will need a sales process to follow, I train my clients to use ASPIRE, but there are lots out there.
- Talk to your Avatar – your social media posts, blogs and news articles should talk to your customer. Use their language.
- Show your customer you understand their business. You need to build credibility in your customers’ eyes. Your posts should demonstrate that you truly understand the market and ‘know your stuff’.
- Exude empathy with your customers’ problems, challenges and
obstacles. Make sure you include case studies online of experience you have of providing solutions to their problems. Prove that you can solve their problems.
- Post videos to demonstrate your product (if you can). Or video yourself sharing valuable insights that your customer will benefit from. You could offer a free trial if you wish.
- Respond positively to any engagement you get with your social media posts. Don’t ignore the fact that the same person is liking your blogs, or sharing your news articles. That’s quite a big sign they like what you’re doing – so say Thank You.
- Build a great relationship online as it will be a great foundation for the relationship you’ll have offline. Remember, look for opportunities to move the conversation offline. But be subtle. Nobody wants to be bombarded with heavy handed sales tactics.
There’s so much more that we could debate on this – it’s a chunky topic – but I hope this was a helpful start.
Wishing you lots of success….