In this series we have looked at some of the theory around Social Selling – What is Selling? Who is the Customer? What are people wanting to buy? and the reality that You can promote anyone but you cannot promote you. In this article we get a little more practical and drill down into the Power of Sharing.
Barney says ‘sharing is caring’ and those words are as true today as when they were first said in 1992. Selling is all about sharing, if we can share the right information, about the right product at the right time for the right price, we have made the sale. The challenge is when is the right time, when all of those align up exactly and result in the sale. I would guess about 5% would be optimistic. We can never assume it is the right time … Therefore we should rather look for different opportunities.
The opportunities I’m referring to are all about people and not products, these opportunities are not about selling, they are about connecting with real people and building relationships. Once a relationship is built we know what people want to hear and when we share from a relationship point of view, the trust levels will be higher and the information becomes valuable.
I know you reading this thinking: What has this got to do with selling? Nothing because this is Social Selling, if you thinking it works some other way, well I am about to burst your bubble, because selling is dead. Everything works from the basis of a relationship, we are all social beings and it is from the point of relationship that we are most effective.
Therefore if we wish to be effective with selling, we need to understand the basics of relationship. When we understand the people we have a relationship with, we understand their needs and we will be able to share relevant information with them when they need it.
When do you get to share about the product you sell?
Only when they interested is the answer, and it is your job to know when they are interested and also to create interest without being a nuisance. Interest is created by sharing the experiences of other people at the appropriate time.
Think Different was a Apple campaign from 1997, which challenged the status quo by sharing people’s experiences around products – Apple realised they were not in the business of computers but rather in the people experience business. Sharing peoples experiences around products were far more emotional than trying to drive home the hard facts about products. People are more interested in stories and other people than they are in products, and interpret the sharing of experiences as a story and not a hard sell approach.
Getting people to share their stories firstly shows you care about them, as you are prepared to listen. The person sharing becomes your best salesperson because they are sharing an authentic story (yes it has to be real – a poorly told true story is far more effective than the best told made up story).
Sharing is powerful because it makes an emotional connection with the listener, and it is the emotional connection that is needed for the story to be shared time and time again. This way word of mouth really becomes effective and reaches the ears of the right buyer at the right time. Look for every opportunity to share, the real power of selling is in sharing.
In this series we look at the following aspects of Social Selling :
- What is selling?
- Who is the customer?
- What are people wanting to buy?
- Self Promotion
- 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.