The social revolution has changed the way you sell forever. Only problem is, most salespeople have no idea of that — yet.
As business social media evolves and matures, all salespeople, executives and entrepreneurs will expose themselves for who they are and who they aren’t way before a sales call or sales meeting of any kind takes place.
Think about the impact of that.
I’m gonna Google you.
I’m gonna Facebook you.
I’m gonna find you on LinkedIn.
I’m gonna look you up on Twitter.
I’m gonna search you on YouTube.
And you can’t stop me.
I’m gonna find out exactly who you are, the same way you’re trying to find out stuff about me.
Two years ago, it would not have happened that way, at least on the social media side. Maybe five years ago for Google.
Today, all systems of selling are preceded, and even precluded, by your online reputation. Before I ever call you, before you ever call me, before you ever meet with me I already know everything I need to about you. Or, I can look you up in 10 seconds while you are on the phone.
Here are the new standards by which you’ll be evaluated, granted appointment time, decided upon, measured, branded and talked about:
- Your Google presence and ranking
- Your online reputation
- Your business social media presence
- Your personal website (present of absent)
- Your blog (present or absent)
- Your Facebook presence
- Your LinkedIn connections and recommendations
- Your Twitter followers
- Your tweets
- Your YouTube channel
Feel a little overwhelmed? That’s because you’ve been asleep at the wheel waiting for the economy to rebound. Or you think the Internet is about your company, not you. Or you’re waiting for your attorneys to figure out a corporate plan for social media, while your competition kicks your butt.
Wake up and smell the Internet, Sparky.
Here are a few things you should do, and can do, that if you don’t do you’ll be doo-doo:
- Look at your competition and their people. Study their online presence and their social media presence.
- Talk to your customers in depth. Find out what they would consider valuable to know and make a plan to deliver that information, whether it pertains to your sales or not. Hint: If you provide valuable information, it directly pertains to your relationship and their loyalty to you.
- Allocate more of your time to learning what you don’t know about online, at least an hour a day. If you’re behind by your competition’s standards, that’s one issue. But if you’re behind by your customer’s needs, that’s the issue. If you don’t know what to do, start studying and start getting involved.
- Set achievable goals and measure your results. Start with LinkedIn. Get 200 connections and expand your network from there. Create a few videos on YouTube that feature your customers talking about how great you are.
- Communicate value messages, not product offerings. The purpose of your presence online is not just to sell. It’s also to attract people who want to buy, especially on social media.
- Seek professional help but beware. Get personal one-on-one references before you spend a dime. There are a lot of people who can help you but many more who claim they can but cannot.
- Waiting is more expensive than starting. Whatever you budget for online and/or social media presence, it’s cheap compared with doing nothing while others pass you by.
Social media is not going away. My bet is that your business social media presence is lacking. And there is not one good reason for it, other than your foresight is limited by your insight.
Hopefully this will help you kick-start what you’re doing online — especially your social media participation — so you’ll have no regrets (also known as hindsight).
Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of “The Sales Bible” and “The Little Red Book of Selling.” President of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs sales meetings and conducts Internet training on selling and customer service at www.trainone.com.