Consider these Tipsheets: there are over 350 of them, and they certainly don’t “sell” anything. Each week, I give away a small nugget of information, and tie it to an immediate action. These non-salesy Tipsheets, like the vast majority of blogs, are designed to credentialize expertise and build trust, slowly over time.
Interestingly, I recently received an email from a reader saying that he was about to unsubscribe, but he wanted to give me “a chance” and explain why, in person. As this reader was in the same city as I was, I took him up on his offer to meet for a coffee. Social Networking translated into real-world networking.
Beyond the introductions and pleasantries, what I received was a high pressure sales pitch for their marketing services. As the service wasn’t needed, the meeting ended relatively quickly. There was no follow-up email post meeting. And a few weeks later this person unsubscribed. (It’s ironic – he is the one that needs to see this post!)
- Developing relationships takes time, both in the real world and in Social Media. Trying to make a quick sale over coffee is great if you’re selling coffee, but bad if you’re selling something more complex – like anything.
- Bait-and-Switch is a bad networking strategy. If the invitation to meet is for one purpose, don’t trot out something different.
- A blog is a great place to develop and explore ideas over a longer term. And in so doing, a blog is also a great place to develop trust.
- Follow-up after a network meeting is critical. Like the blog, a real-life meeting and a follow-up email are merely steps up the relationship curve.
Social Media can be used to sell, but one of the most effective strategies has to be Give to Get; the sale will take place, but only when you’ve demonstrated your expertise, earned the trust, and the buyer is ready to buy – which may take years.
This week’s action plan: Where does your blog fit on the sell/no-sell continuum? If you’re not happy with it there, make a change. If you don’t blog, look back at your favorite blog (besides this one!) and evaluate it: where does it fit on the continuum? And how would you feel if it was changed?
Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to www.RandallCraig.com to register.
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