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Contact South West Web Marketing What Is Social Selling?

Much of the social media advice out there revolves around providing great content and creating an engaged community. But there is one important piece missing: the actual sales process. In today’s world of Google, Facebook and Yelp, the sales process has lengthened because potential buyers can lurk in the shadows and research like never before, they have access to the internet as well don't you know!

It used to be they depended solely on the information of sales people and their neighbors to make a buying decision. These days they rely on reviews, blogs and tweets from millions of their closest friends and complete strangers. How do you as small businesses, leverage the vast array of information to influence these anonymous potential buyers? Well let us introduce you to the world of social selling.

What Is Social Selling I Hear You Shout?
Social selling is using the social platforms like Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter to build a stronger brand, allowing your potential buyers to get to know and ultimately trust us. Once that trust is established, then it is up to you to turn these potential buyers into customers by asking for and closing the sale. This is the bit that seems to be forgotten in today’s world of providing value and range. So let me ask you this: what’s the point of providing value if you aren’t going to ask for the sale? Just like in the good old days, it’s OK, in fact it’s mandatory, to ask for the sale once the groundwork has been laid.

So Why Are We Afraid of Asking for the Sale?
Well, we are afraid of asking for the sale because we have been told not to do it, it's just not British! We have been told that selling on social media is too spammy or that people will unfriend you, but actually in the end, we aren’t asking for the sale because we haven’t quite figured it all out yet. In reality if you have a product or service that solves a problem, then it is your duty, your right to ask for the sale. To not do so is a disservice to potential buyers and your audience and let's be honest - a tad foolish!

Some Very Useful Tips for Social Selling
To be successful at selling in this large and complex social world you have to start by providing great content and creating an engaged community, just like all those experts say. The missing piece of this puzzle is you have to give yourself permission to ask for the sale when the time is right.

So The Timing Is Everything
When and how often to ask for the sale is tricky and is dependent on the strength of your brand and resolve. The stronger and more established your brand is, the more often you can ask for the sale. It’s all about perception and your potential customers will accept a sales pitch if you have provided enough value or they trust you. For instance, if you are launching a product or service a few months down the road, spend the time leading up to the launch providing value so you can comfortably ask for the sale once the product launches.

Just Listen and Learn
Monitoring and listening to social networks helps you to understand the problems and challenges your potential customers are looking to solve. It will allow you to discover a wealth of information about your audience/customer that can help influence the content you provide and how you position your products and services.

So Let's Solve a Problem
It is easy to ask for the sale when your product or service solves a problem. Don’t hide from the fact that you have something to sell. Instead show how your product or service can make someone’s life better... Shout!

Just Be Human.. Be Real Man!
Be a real person, even when representing your brand. Nothing gives you more of a right to ask for the sale then by earning it through conversation. Remember, building trust is key and you do that by talking with people. Remember it is called “social” media for a reason. Don’t hide behind your tweets or posts and let them do the job for you. You will fail. Your tweets, posts, and updates are an extension of you. Use them as a launch pad to creating great conversations and relationships.

The End Bit
So you have every right to ask for the sale – after you earn it of course. Just like you wouldn’t ask for the sale the minute someone walks through the door of your store, don’t do that on social media either. Instead take the time to show your potential buyers around, generate some chit chat, find out what they are looking for and then provide them with the answers they need. They will thank you for it. Now it’s your turn.

Are you comfortable asking for the sale via your social networks? Then let's begin....


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Tags: SEO, Online Marketing, Social Media