Social Media is forcing the traditional sales model to evolve

The traditional sales model becomes one large flow chart of canned responses.

When I began to spread my wings as an entrepreneur in the late nineties it was nearly a form of heresy to change the process of a traditional sales model. It became one large flow chart of canned responses. Master your elevator pitch and be ready to deliver and convert sales at any moment. Build relationships over time to gain trust. Listen. Understand the customer’s needs. Don’t know what the customer needs? Ask more questions and listen longer. Find the person in a position to make decisions. If Customer A gives answer b then respond accordingly with statement c. Sell sell sell.

Just reading that brings to mind the old wooden rotary phones that hung on farm house walls. The ones where you had to tap the cradle and speak to an operator to connect your call.

When you sign up for social networks please be prepared to be social.

According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is projected that 26.9% of all 65 to 74 year olds will participate in the labor force by 2014. That equates to over a quarter of all business interactions within 4 years may be delivered by professionals trained in a sales model that no longer works.

Working traditional sales into a social media network

The problem is that social media is a buzz word. Every business is jumping on the bandwagon to sign up for Facebook and Twitter because they don’t want to be left behind. They don’t utilize it properly by cultivating relationships with their customer base. Social media is about relationships.

When you sign up for social networks please be prepared to be social. Your customers will be excited to interact with you. Interaction, even on a small scale, builds relationships over time to gain trust. Social media is much more than an abbreviated email or comment and response system. It provides direct access into the specific needs of your customers. An in-depth outline of what to supply for their demand. You can listen to them without ever having to pitch a single service or product. The key is to listen.

Like the traditional sales model, once you know what the customer needs you can respond accordingly.

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