Over the past year, I have been reading a lot of articles about how social media is changing the world of sales. What has been happening recently is I’m actually seeing this in action. A couple of my clients decided to survey their customers to ask them how they preferred to be contacted for sales and if they searched social media for product information. In both cases, the customers responded that they wanted to be more “in charge” of the process of researching products and choosing how they wanted to be contacted. This result matched what I was reading.
We live in an internet world. Access to high speed connectivity, even from our mobile devices, gives people more options. They can research what they need, when they want, and how they want. This almost seems to mean the days of cold calls are numbered. The clients have already done most of their research. What they want instead is an educated sales person who can quantify their findings and answer the more important questions, like “how much will it cost?”
Have your sales tactics changed recently to reflect this new paradigm? Are you noticing decreased revenues even though the sales staff are still using the same tactics and many cases making even more calls? Your customers are not sitting there anxiously waiting on you to call – they have already past that and are trying to make business decisions on which product they have already “scoped out” on the internet. With do-not-call or do-not-SPAM-me lists growing in popularity, organizations need to look at alternative approaches for reaching their customers. The Harvard Business Review says that 90% of CEO’s do not respond to cold calls or emails. Maybe it’s time to step out of your sales process comfort zone and look at new approaches.
What are some things you can do? For one, enter the social media world if you are not already there. Your purpose will be to let people know that you and your staff know their products. Your sales force is there to provide expertise and assistance with making the buying decision. You are basically selling yourself and your company. It helps the customer narrow down who they want to work with – your “social media” voice is a vital component in the sales structure in today’s world.
Take the initiative to conduct a survey with your clients. Ask them how much they use the internet and social media to make buying decisions. Also, ask them how they want to be contacted by your organization. You will be very surprised by the answers.
Instead of hearing crickets when you attempt your sales calls or emails, try instead the “here kitty kitty” method. Like they said in the popular movie, “if you build it they will come” build your social media presence – establish your “internet voice” – show your expertise – let the customer base know you know your stuff and can help. Oh, and don’t use social media as your new SPAM engine – share pertinent information. Share your knowledge. You are not giving away the farm – you are letting people know that you are the right people to call, when they need to, how they want.
If you need help putting together a survey contact us. We can share what we have done with other clients and help you initiate some new sales techniques.