Being Social

I’m always surprised by people who miss the point of social media; being social.

There is a definite benefit for sales people who use social media correctly, but some try to force it to be something it isn’t.  I see this a lot, especially with self-published authors, or people who pay services or companies to ‘monitor and update’ their social medial channels for them.  This leads to a stream of endless and impersonal links, an immediate turn-off for people who are looking to connect.

Companies succeed at using social media.  BestBuy, Google, eBay and Amazon, to name just a few, have done well.  But odds are, you aren’t them.  What most people using social media are looking for is a real person they can connect with, not a corporate giant spitting out links to deals for the day, or a person whose stream shows links off to blog posts and zero interaction or conversations with followers.

When I work with sales people and talk about social media, there is one thing that a majority of them agree on – they just don’t get it.  I’m actually surprised by this reaction because at its heart, social media is what sales people do each and every day of their lives, just in a new medium.

A good sales person networks, connects and engages.  They meet people, get to know them and build a relationship.  Sometimes that can take a very long time, others just a few minutes.  But the process is the same.  Unless you are in a retail setting, you don’t meet someone for the first time and immediately attempt to sell them something.  You try to get to know them, you share a little something about yourself, see where your interests intersect, what you have in common, and lay the foundation for a relationship.

So why would you treat social media any differently?

That’s just it – you shouldn’t. Be social.  When you create your profile(s), include your interests, talk about them, share photos (you probably have a smartphone, so use it!), follow and friend other people who have similar interests.  Engage.  Don’t just post things in your own stream, comment on what other people are doing/sharing, and if they comment on yours, reply back.

Connect, build that relationship.  You already know how.  And when it’s time to sell, you’ll know it.  Social media just offers you a new way to do it.