People who have never owned a business commonly think that customers simply make a purchase as soon as they come into contact with a business. However, as a business owner with years or even decades of experience under your belt, you know that's quite far from the truth. Although it would be nice if it was that easy to close sales, the reality is it normally takes multiple interactions for a promising lead to become an actual customer.
Although the Internet has not eliminated the standard buying habits that people follow, the good news is it has made it easier to guide them from an interested lead into a customer who actually pays for something. If you are wondering how you can make your sales process more efficient, social media is the answer. By properly utilizing social media, you will be able to guide leads through your sales process and end up with customers who are very happy.
Here are the details of exactly how it works:
Start with Free
Today's consumers have more options than ever. In addition to their increased options, chances are they have been disappointed or completely ripped off by multiple companies. As a result, they are generally hesitant to jump right into making a purchase.
Although that may seem like a major obstacle for your business, there is an easy way to accommodate it. The solution is to begin your sales process with something free. What you give away will depend on your specific business and industry. In addition to being free, the key to getting the most out of this step is to provide something of value. Once you figure out what you should give away, you can use outlets like Twitter to share it with potential customers.
Move Towards Commitment
Some businesses try to skip directly from a free giveaway to paid customers. However, studies have found that adding an intermediary step to your sales process is a more effective option. If you sell a physical product, this will generally be a free sample. And if what you offer falls into a different category, a free trial is usually the best option.
The way that social media can complement this step of your sales process is by allowing warm leads to directly communicate with you. Additionally, when they discuss your free sample or trial through an outlet like Facebook, it creates opportunities for other potential customers to discover your business.
Close the Sale
The last step in a successful sales process is to actually close and gain a new customer. This is arguably the step where social media has the biggest impact. The reason social media can be so beneficial for closing a sale is because people realize they have a public venue for discussing your business. As a result, they understand that you stand behind what you offer. This combination creates a level of trust that would be difficult to achieve without the support of social media.
How big of a role does social media play in your sales process?
About The Author
Brian Waraksa, founder of Raxa Design in Houston, Texas has been in marketing and small business branding since 2002. He writes the Raxa Design blog on issues affecting small business marketing and corporate brands.
Posted on Mon, March 19, 2012
by Brian Waraksa filed under