Category Archives: Social Selling

How to Handle an Imperfect Customer

To really put a great company head and shoulders above the rest of the competition, customer service must be of a high standard. Your customers must have a shopping experience that will keep them coming back for more and even better, bringing new customers to your door via word of mouth.

The “Know it all hero” will always be first in a line of the less than pleasant customers. Just one example that proves not everyone makes a great customer.

Your competitors may send a “Nosey Ninja” to keep you on your toes, but an actual mystery shopper should be a welcome sight.

When the “Penny Pincher” walks in they will do their best to bargain you down to the ground. You don’t want them to leave empty-handed, but you also don’t want to undersell your service or product.

That bellowing sound you hear when “Langry” bursts through the doors can really put you on your back foot. They are simply annoyed at life!

Not everyone makes a perfect customer, so read on this infographic by The Website Group to discover more about the 4 most common awkward personalities and the solutions to help you deal with them as best you can.

Courtesy of: The Website Group

Have you created a customer journey map?

How do you measure success? Is it by how much more you make from one year to the next? Unfortunately, that’s a too-limiting view of business achievement — but it’s one that many companies rely on. What if instead you focused on a different measure — say, how customers felt about their journey with your company?

In fact, if you’re not thinking through the steps on that customer journey then you might be letting customers slip through your fingers before they have a chance to repeat sales, and those can be the most valuable kinds of customers ever—the ones with a relationship, not just a sale.

That journey, of course, isn’t just the sale — it’s all those points from awareness to sale to post-sale. And along those points, you can provide very different pieces of marketing in order to deepen that relationship. How do you do that? This graphic can help.

Customer Journey Maps: How to Guide Your Leads to Customers

How to Effectively Respond to Sales Objections

Sales isn’t easy. If it were, everyone would do it, and every customer would buy everything you wanted them to.

In reality, though, there are objections that you have to respond to, and if you don’t do it well, you’ll lose not only the sale, but momentum for sales in general.

For starters, instantly dismissing customer concerns isn’t the right path to take. Work harder on understanding and sincerely reaction to their points. You’ll also have to find out what would convince them of the sale, and learn how to build points around that.

Interested in more effective ways to work through sales objections? Use this graphic.

 How to Effectively Respond to Sales Objections

Via Salesforce

3 Ways to Grow Your Pipeline Through Social Selling

Off the bat, you may think of “social selling” as an outward action—where a salesperson reactively reaches out or responds to a target audience through social media to direct traffic.

Social selling, however, also includes proactive, gathering of information and behind-the-scenes work to create better qualified leads and increase traffic flow.

Using the three approaches we highlight below, you can put social selling to work and see significant growth to your sales pipeline.

Brand Yourself, and Suit Up
Remember when we were #hashtag crazy? In the early days of social media, hashtags were the key to getting found. We hashtagged every noun we thought was vital to our brand identity, and waited for someone to grab our hook. To be honest, social selling then was the equivalent of a sandwich board and a megaphone versus a good suit today. Social listening has evolved into something more refined, and social algorithms have advanced to now mute overly-spammy social “voices”. If the technology has evolved, it’s usually a sign that user behavior has evolved as well. In social media, it’s no longer about shouting to be heard, but instead, using your brand’s identity to develop the right audience through consistency.

When establishing yourself on social media, put yourself in your target audience’s shoes. Think about your market positioning, and what makes you stand out from the rest that your audience will find compelling. Look at your website traffic to get an idea of what’s already bringing your audience to you, and echo your website’s best-performing keywords on social to grab the same audience. Create your social media bios and populate your scheduled content with the terminology that’s true to your brand. By putting the megaphone aside and using technology to build an audience intelligently, you’ll actively create an audience that contains a higher percentage of qualified leads.

Find Your Audience
There are a few different tools out there to help you develop your social audience. You can use technology to find your existing customer base on social media and engage with and repost their content to tap their compatible networks and grow your own.

Match a social audience to your primary market brand persona through keyword matching and geographic location. Use the identifiers that you associate with your market segments, and run searches or combine with social listening to find similar social media accounts.

Follow relevant accounts, and create public and private lists to positively and helpfully segment your audience on social.

Actively Market
If you’re at a party and want to have a great conversation, you don’t just mutely stand next to someone—and so many brands repeatedly make this error.

Once you’ve connected with your audience, actively engage with them to develop the relationship. Comment on their own content, give it a positive rating, and/or repost it. I often get followed on social media by businesses that don’t ever engage, and I never really know if they were interested in my services, or if they wanted me to be interested in theirs! Awkward.

Automate the cadence of your social content using free or enterprise scheduling tools, and once you’ve engaged, connected with, and collected email addresses for your social network, automate the connection process using email tracking.

Automation sets the pace for your content, and lets your audience anticipate when they will hear from you. By learning when to connect with your audience, you’ll develop trustworthiness with your audience, and leads will become better qualified.

How Long Does It Take?
You can begin developing your online presence and building a social network today. Within the next 2 weeks, you can automate a steady stream of content, and engage with your audience. By the end of the first month, you’ll have established a voice and consistency. Within the first three months, you should be developing regular, better qualified leads that are regularly feeding into your pipeline.

On Social Selling

For as long as there have been buyers and sellers, selling has revolved around relationships: who you know.

There are, however, new challenges. Your prospects and customers are busier than ever, actively ignoring and blocking your marketing messages. They’re resistant and resentful when being “sold to.” And they have unlimited access to information about you, your company, your products, and those of your competition. What’s more, they’re turning to people they know, like, and trust to educate themselves, diagnose problems, and, ultimately, make a buying decision.

In a recent Forrester survey, 74% of business buyers said they conduct more than half of their research online before making an offline purchase. These invisible sales stages, in which buyers initiate the selling process without calling on sales, gives them tremendous freedom to browse, learn, and compare without influence from sales. This online sales cycle is happening more and more frequently on social media: blogs, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others, and has given rise to “social selling.”

photo-1418225162054-0f773a996f9e

The concept of social selling is a response to these fundamental changes in customer behavior and in customers’ buying processes. It’s also about directly engaging prospects on their terms, as well as learning their marketing, buying, and communication preferences. Just think about all the social media updates people make everyday. They are telling us their wants, needs, and frustrations.

With social referrals becoming increasingly crucial to the buyer’s online research process, and buyers almost expecting to be sold to on their terms, if you’re not social selling, you’re a dinosaur. Think about it – we’ve gone from selling features and benefits, to selling on value, to selling solutions, and have now reached the pinnacle with selling to specific needs at specific times.

But social selling doesn’t replace the old way of doing business. It just makes selling easier. For example, marketing departments can trigger the release of email communication based on visits to specific pages on their website, and sales can provide pre- and post-sale service via social media.

Jay Abraham once said, “People are silently begging to be led. They are crying out to know more about a business’ product or service. When you educate your customers, you’ll see your profits soar.”

So practice social selling and meet your customers online, interact with them on social media and give them the information they want, and watch your sales grow!