The concept of Social Selling is interesting. The phrase itself is what bothers me because authentically people do not like to be sold to. Therefore the question must then be asked ‘why are we trying to so called ‘sell’ through Social Media platforms?’ The question is valid but that does not mean we need to stop selling, it does mean however that we need to have an approach that will be seamless with the expectations of people – the people who we are trying to sell something to.
What is selling?
Selling normally involves an interaction between people, but not always people as you may simply go into a retail store, choose what you need and proceed to the cashier to pay for the items. A sale has taken place and it did not require any selling as such, marketing and advertising may have influenced that sale. Selling can be defined as one person influencing another to buy a product.
Why do people not like to be sold to?
The one reality of life is that manipulation is part of everything we do. Our agreement with that reality is that it either benefits us or that we feel we are being disadvantaged by the manipulation. Manipulation in relationships is often seen as the other person forcing us against our will to do something we are unwilling to do. Therefore when someone is trying to sell us something we don’t think we need, we judge them as pushy salespeople. However if we needed the product and the product was going to be beneficial we wouldn’t mind the sales interaction.
When trying to understand this interaction we should not focus on the product but rather on the sales person and the buyer. This relationship is to be built on trust and should this trust be broken the sale will not happen. Yes the saying is true people buy form people and for this to happen the salesperson needs to listen carefully and answer any specific questions the buyer may have. Over sharing of information could be seen as an oversell and the trust could be compromised.
People buy from people, regardless of whether they are buying personal items for themselves or if they are spending millions on behalf of their organisations. Everything is a Human to Human experience and trust lies at the centre of this relationship.
In this series we look at the following aspects of Social Selling :
- Who is the customer?
- What are people wanting to buy?
- Self Promotion
- The power of sharing.
- What is the job of the salesperson?
- Marketing and Advertising.
Please let me know what areas you would like me to cover and don’t hesitate to disagree with something I may say.