01 Jun

In Response: Facebook IS a Communication Tool;

Published in: Blog
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Today I’m writing in response to Tina Dettman-Bielefeldt’s column in the Green Bay Press Gazette: Innovation series to feature sales. Here Ryan Kauth, director of the Small Business Development Center SBDC, "believes that sales are the lifeblood of any business, and effective sales are more than having a conversation on Facebook".

I respectfully disagree. Why? Because Facebook is a communication tool. This is where your audience is listening. Where else can you connect with your audience on such a large scale?

Sometimes, face-to-face communication in say a business cocktail hour can be highly effective, however, that is not a scalable sales approach. Relationships can be made on Social Media more efficiently than a face-to-face meeting. Sonix Studio is a good example of this. We made the decision to quit all networking groups several years ago and business only got better. According to Knauth, sales should have dropped exponentially.

The most common reason businesses view social media as a failing marketing strategy, is because they view it as a marketing strategy. Social Media is a communication tool. Social Media connects you to your audience. If you market to them, they won’t listen, however, if you are real with them and focus on building a real relationship through conversation, it’s a highly productive selling tool.

Reading on in the article, Knauth says, "it begins with knowing your customer."  If you knew your customer, you'd know that  90% of them are on some sort of Social Media.  You'd know that in order to reach them that you need to go where they hang out.  Knauth talks about "lists".  When was the last time you entertained a sales call or were excited to get your direct mail?  Those strategies aren't working.  Email ists?  Forget about it.  Open rates went from 40-60% in the late 90's to less than 1% today.

"Once you have leads, research the company and find out who the decision-maker is. Then, schedule an appointment and put your sales training to practice."  Here the author makes it sound to easy to make an appointment.   It's not that easy in today's world.  People are very protective of their time.  Wouldn't it be easier to get an appointment if the person knew you?  That's where Social Media comes in.  You can connect easier on social media platforms than in real life.  Once you've earned their trust, those appointments are much simpler get scheduled.  My advice is to find out who the decision-maker is, connect with them on social media, build trust through general conversation, build common ground, then try and make that appointment.

Your customers are on Facebook. Treat it like a cocktail hour. Engage in conversation instead of self-promotion and you too will be successful at relationship building through Facebook.  Relationships bring customers.

 

Last modified on Thursday, 18 September 2014 14:18
Chad VanCalster

Chad VanCalster is a businesss development specialist with Sonix Studio, a web development, design, SEO and hosting firm with offices in Green Bay, Wisconsin and Dallas, Texas. A Computer Science graduate of Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, Chad started his career consulting for large corporations in the northern Wisconsin region, including Wisconsin Tissue, Georgia Pacific and Schneider National, among others.

Through experiences with marketing within his own company, Chad became a student of Internet Marketing, with a focus on Social Media.  That eventually branched into helping clients with THEIR Social Media Marketing.  Chad is an expert at using social media to expand your credibility and impact in your chosen markets.

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