Get people interested in your business by being interesting. How? Give up some information!
You have to chill out on the selling so you can make some sales. This sounds like a conflicting statement, but it is not.
For example, demonstrate your expertise, provide tips or perhaps a behind-the-scenes look at how you do things. This shows prospective clients that you actually have some know-how and, because you're giving away valuable information, a person cannot help but expect you to have as-yet unshared expertise at a level they do not know about.
A case in point, one of our clients is a car dealer that specializes in used vehicles. They have an inspection process to ensure they are not buying a lemon at auction. This is great information for people shopping for a used car.
We discussed having them take video demonstrating what they look at in a vehicle, and we would put it together in one complete video per car.
It is true, many people viewing the video may simply want to ensure their own independent shopping is successful, but some may want to go to a trusted source, a source willing to share valuable information.
Giving away information is an important step in developing trust and authority in your market. If all you are doing is waving your arms and yelling, "Buy from me! Buy from me!", you are losing customers.
Put yourself in your target customer's shoes and ask what you would want to know, then deliver that. If you think you have nothing worthy to share, think again. What you know from your years of experience is not going to be common knowledge for many.
When you share - when you give - you will indeed receive!
Finding customers is key for every business. Keeping new-found customers is the next key step. Let's talk about business and social media.
This is a PDF of a presentation we did earlier this year for a local networking group of business leaders in north-central Connecticut during an Enfield chapter meeting of the "Breakfast Club" networking group.
If you are interested in us recording a free webinar discussing this presentation, please let us know in the comments below.
Download or view the presentation by below.
How can a business use social media effectively? When it's used to relate and build relationships.
Growing up, I used to hang out after school at my family's small hardware store in Hartford CT, City Hardware. Then in college I worked at my family's small restaurant, Village Luncheonette in East Windsor CT, which was really an old-fashioned "soda bar" located inside an independent pharmacy.
In both businesses, we developed real relationships with customers. I watched as a customer became "Mr. Smith" or "Mrs. Jay", then "Fred" or "Nancy". Then I watched and listened as those customers became like friends, with families, jobs, joys and troubles, and I watched as those customers grew in number and frequency, which translated into the businesses growing and prospering.
Real conversations were held. Real stories were told. Real relationships were formed.
Both businesses have been long since sold. I think that was the tail-end of "main street businesses" in my state, giving way to high-volume, lower price businesses. That shift was, admittedly, good for customers, bringing in more goods and services for less cost.
Within this phase of convenience, selection and attractive pricing, we entered into a more impersonal relationship between people and businesses, making decisions based on pricing, clever marketing or whatever one-way sales and marketing pitches captivate our attention and desire, while businesses went for the best-priced, farthest reaching, and "loudest" ads and marketing tactics of the day.
However, today, businesses have a remarkable opportunity to reintroduce real relationship building with their customers (people) and prospects (people). This is especially true for smaller businesses. The vehicle for this "P2P" shift can be social media; "Social" being the key word.
Whatever your preferred social media channel, if used with the attitude found with old-school "main street" businesses of yesteryear, where you strike up an authentic conversation with someone, share stories, get to know each other, maybe even get to know them on a personal level, a business can engage in the kind of marketing that develops customer bonds that will withstand efforts from marketers engaged in adding the same-old plethora of content overload.
There will always be a place for "shout marketing", big print ads, commercials, billboards, radio ads, mailers, etc. However, social media is our opportunity to reengage with the public, to relate, to reduce the "shouting", to listen more than speaking.
What about the "Stop selling" part?
No. Selling is here to stay, but tell yourself to stop as a reminder to substitute it more and more with an approach and attitude of wanting to authentically relate to your customers, which means growing comfortable with a little vulnerability on your end and investing a little time in this activity.
Social media is not a billboard. Nor does it represent a captive audience who has to listen to whatever you put out there. Call it "information overload" or "content shock" or whatever, but people are learning to filter garbage out, even without the developing content filter technology. We are social creatures. We like to be listened to. We like relationships.
Be that business that caters to the human side of people, your customers, and you just may have an edge on your competitors stubbornly clinging to the idea that everyone has to listen to their constant sales pitches.
So, try on the attitude of "Stop selling and start relating". See where it goes and remember to listen, too! You just my be surprised with being rewarded for your listening with being listened to.
Musings, thoughts and perspectives from the Digital Marketing Partner team
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