Todd Martin

Todd Martin

Sales Strategy

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Stop Talking to Your Customers So Much. No, Really.

October 15, 2015

Customer relationship-building is a good thing. But are you giving your content creation short shrift?

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I know I’ve written about this theme before, but it bears repeating, since so many social media gurus continue to preach the gospel of social selling.

In theory, the tenets of social selling make some sense. They go something like this:

  • Find the social networks where your prospects and customers are likely to gather and learn about their interests.
  • Create posts that help your audience know who you are beyond just a name in an organization chart. Be human. Share your excitement about your own passions.
  • Interact with other individuals frequently. Share. Commiserate. Offer to assist with problems.
  • Try to position yourself as an expert in your field.
  • Find the “influencers” in your market and engage with them.
  • Don’t be pushy about selling. Rather, try to focus on the interpersonal communication that’s transpiring. Once people learn who you are, they’ll be more likely to buy from you.
  • At some point, you do need to reveal that you do indeed represent a company that sells products and/or services. Be subtle about this.

Is there anything wrong with any of these suggestions? No. They’re all part of the path to sales growth.

The problem is the amount of time that these actions take when you consider them an isolated set of activities. (And think about how easy it is to be distracted when you’re on LinkedIn or Twitter or Facebook.)

The process of building customer relationships should be organic. It’s not something you should schedule blocks of time for. Let it happen while you’re busy doing your other social media work. If a thread catches your eye while you’re posting a tweet, see if there’s an opportunity for involvement. Then go back to what you were doing so that you don’t look up and realize that an hour has gone by with nothing of substance accomplished.

Use your social media time intelligently by spending the bulk of it creating great content. You will build relationships by doing so as people comment on your blog or retweet a post or share some of your carefully-written pieces. Keep these things in mind as you go:

  • Focus on quality. Google does. Good SEO is very important, but Google is putting emphasis on the quality of content these days, too.
  • Work on your relationships with your existing customers as you continue to court new ones. Acquiring new customers is expensive and time-consuming. Your best customer is the one you already have. Reward them for their loyalty with attention and special treatment.
  • Answer questions before they’re asked. Ask your customer support people what customers complain about. Write posts dealing with the kinds of difficulties people might encounter before they get frustrated and return your products.
  • As you formulate posts or work on your blog, focus on benefits. Solutions. How to help individuals have a better personal or professional life.

In all of the content you create, try to be worthy of being shared. It’s a high compliment to have your work passed along to others.

Stock image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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