A few months before Black Enterprise magazine featured my digital sales strategy in its March 2007 TechWatch feature “Make Money The E-Marketing Way” there was talk of Sales 2.0 in 2006.
This upgraded selling tactic would morph into the term: Social Selling. I was unaware of this movement to take selling to a new level but it didn’t stop me from putting those tactics into practice.
As outlined in the article, I leveraged online relationships to build my personal brand as an occult novelist with a penchant for giving relationship advice.
By writing blog posts focused on relationships woes and how to overcome the hurt; I grew an audience on several social network websites and message boards.
- Building an audience, however, is the first phase
- engaging and growing relationships with your audience is the second
- offering what you have to sell is third
- maintaining and strengthening those relationships is the fourth phase
The fourth phase is the most important because those initial relationships are who (not a typo – relationships are between PEOPLE) you’ll need to grow your audience and expand your territory.
By developing and cultivating relationships through social networks, selling my novel was a breeze. And it was for one simple reason:
“People buy from people they know and like.”
I never pitched my novel as a tale of the occult because when it came down to it, the novel, I wrote, is about intimate relationships. It’s a story of how the characters cleared, or tripped over, love hurdles. My audience was interested in dating and romance. The occult angle was nothing more than seasoning.
Today, people are busy selling everything from A to Z through social networks. Unfortunately for many the “social” part is absent. Many are forgetting, in Social Selling, relationship building comes before sales.
If one doesn’t know to whom they’re selling, then how be it possible to know what they need? How is it possible to give them proper customer service? It’s nearly impossible.
Therefore, develop a solid relationship with customers first, and you’ll never have to sell anything. – MH