You’re probably just as entrenched in the Sales vs. Value war as I am, even if you don’t know it. I’m fighting the good fight for value. Are you?
I don’t think I have to explain why value rises above sales in social media, but yeah, I’m going to.
The way I see it, we (consumers) don’t relate to, or get behind, sales tactics. Look at the brands doing it right: They aren’t ending every blog post, email or social update with, “If you want to buy my stuff, call me TODAY!” The word “hype-free” comes to mind…
Maybe you’re a salesman. Maybe that’s your schtick. Maybe hype is all you know.
I’m here to tell you that you’re going into a war with a rubberband shooter…
Closing the deal on the first date rarely works. Putting your sales message in every. single. email. is small thinking. Consumers can’t get past the narcissist tones to see what you’re really trying to say. Or worse, they think that IS all you’re trying to say; that you only want their money/business.
It’s kinda like those hand cream dudes at the kiosk in the mall. They’re practically chasing you down the corridor yelling, “TRY MY STUFF! BUY MY STUFF! 50% OFF for YOU, my friend!”
First off, if your product is SO valuable, why are you chasing me and why is it so deeply discounted? Secondly, if I haven’t come to the mall (or gone online/to social media) to specifically buy your stuff, why are you shoving it down my throat? Or said aloud, “How are those features relevant to my needs?”
Helpful hint: We know HOW to buy from you and if we want to, we WILL. We may not know WHY to buy from you.
All the salesmen out there are saying, “Well you don’t know you want to buy my ______ yet. I have to help you along.” Okay. I can get behind that. But wouldn’t it help me along if I understood the VALUE in your product or service?
We Wanna Be Wooed
Google did a study called ‘Zero Moment of Truth‘ and found that customers needed twice as much information (in 2011 vs. 2010) to make a buying decision.
So, while 99.99% of us can’t get behind sales tactics, we can get behind value tactics. We want information. We need you to nurture us with the nuances of your brand/industry – and to do it before (and more often than) the “other” guy.
If you’re proving yourself to be valuable over and over again, I’m more likely to buy from you.
Social Super Stars
I see value all the time on social media. These super stars convert with INFORMATION, not promotion.
Hubspot is a great example. They’re constantly putting out tips, free eBooks, and how-to articles – all expecting nothing in return. I wonder how many people have signed up for their services based on one or two free downloads?
More Pitch, More Problems
If you’re feeling the need to pitch your service or product in everything you do, you’ve got a problem. Resist the urge. I’m not saying it’s NEVER appropriate, just that there’s a time and a place to sell yourself.
Again, if your website is nicely designed and your social pages are optimized, WE KNOW HOW TO BUY FROM YOU.
Help us understand WHY we need to buy from you:
- What sets you apart?
- How are you helping me solve my problems?
- If you can’t offer me value, or figure out how to put your worth into words, how about offering a free trial to let me test product XYZ out?
- *IF I find your stuff valuable, perhaps I’ll buy.
Those winning with value are winning with sales. And they’re laughing all the way to the bank at you sales-y peeps and your rubberband shooters.
See you in the social sphere!
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Brooke B. Sellas is the in-the-trenches Founder & CEO of @HelloBSquared, an award-winning social media, advertising, and customer care agency. She's also the Co-host of The Marketing Companion podcast with Mark Schaefer, where they discuss jaw-dropping marketing trends. Brooke's marketing mantra is “Think Conversation, Not Campaign” so be sure to give her a shout!
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