Social-Media Sales: Rubber, Meet Road

By Jeffrey Gitomer

Hello Mr. Gitomer, I read your article on LinkedIn here in the Chicago Suburbs. I am a fan. You make great points and observations that many people miss. I’m in the process of retooling my profile. I can’t help but to ask if you have ever made a sale through LinkedIn? Thanks, Kyle.

The simple answer is yes—but it ain’t that simple.

I have a business brand, a personal brand, and a social brand. All of which are interconnected. All of which are mature. All of which provide value messages. All of which create attraction. All of which generate leads. All of which make sales.

My marketing mantra is the core of my social effort: I put myself in front of people that can say “yes” to me and I deliver value first.

Long before social media, or as I prefer to refer to it business social media, my marketing mantra was the hallmark of my sales success. As a writer and speaker in the early ’90s, I built my brand in print media and created attraction through value messaging. Still do.

It was hard to create attraction (leads and sales) if you weren’t in print.

The huge difference (and your advantage) is that now, a variety of additional media and social media outlets are available. Most of them are free. And you can become attractive on all of them, if you choose the right path: The value messaging path. 

The path that will attract the all-important click! And that click means someone wants to see more. Especially if they’re looking to buy or connect.

There are very few “one-source” sales anymore. Too many options available. People, you included, click around before they connect, interact, and especially buy.

The omnipresence of mother Google, combined with the advent of business social media, has created new and better ways to search, find, connect, attract, and interact. And one social media outlet proves, promotes, and reinforces the other to someone who clicks around. And note this: Everyone clicks around.

People searching do not just search one source. They keep searching until they find comfort enough to click, and click again in the same spot. And my value messages promote multiple clicks.

Remember this: one click means nothing. One click means you get a “look.” Two or more clicks on the same page or site gets a deeper look and maybe a connection. Especially in social media. 

If I’m looking for someone or something, I click all their social media. Don’t you? 

Note: Your customers, your prospects, and your potential connections are clicking you. And you can’t stop them. But numbers matter. The number of followers and connections you have can be the difference between click and no click. Your prospect is seeking some comfort and assurance that you are safe to connect with or do business with. 

Comments, ratings, recommendations, and endorsements matter more than numbers—especially in the business world. If you have 500 business connections on LinkedIn, it pales in comparison to who has recommended and endorsed you. Recommendations and endorsements are proof. So are positive ratings and comments. And many businesses live and die by them. 

I call it the Rule of the More, the More: The more a prospective customer clicks on you and your stuff, the easier it is for them to make a buying decision in your favor. They are more likely to click if your site is easy to navigate, your information is easy to understand, there is clear value to the possible purchaser, and you offer social and video proof that others have purchased from you and love it.

As a final point of understanding, building and growing your “attraction platform” is not just about what you say, post, or do; it’s all about what OTHERS think of what you say, post, and do, combined with what actions they take as a result of it. 

Do they post a favorable a comment? Do they re-tweet to their followers? Do they share with their connections? Do they “like” you or what you do? Will they subscribe? And (of course) will they buy?

Those are the actions I seek to achieve in those who click on me. Am I perfect at it? Heck, no. Do I work on making it better every day? Heck, yes!

“Ok, so did you make a LinkedIn sale?” No, I made hundreds of them. I have more than 15,000 connections on Linked-In, and every day I post a value message. 

Here’s what happens: People com-ment, people share the post with their connections, people email me, and people call our office. Every day. And whether they want a $20 book or a $50,000 training program, the cost of that lead (and that sale) was zero

Understand, it was a value message that created the attraction and the sale(s), not an ad or a self-promoting message. Yes, I send out an occasional sales offer, but less than 10 percent of the time. No one is going to re-post an ad.

With the right social game plan, one element ties into and supports the other, and creates the attraction that leads to sales. 

About the author

Jeffrey Gitomer is author of The Little Red Book of Selling and The Little Red Book of Sales Answers.
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