As entrepreneurs, we are relentlessly faced with selling our business to keep ahead of the curve. It feels like you are eternally pushing a giant stone up a hill. How do you convince a prospect to purchase your products rather than your competitors?
As I was reviewing our social sales reports, I suddenly remembered “The Avon Lady”!
Even though I am dating myself, the Avon Lady was the best example I can think of for sales and social engagement. For those of you who have never been to a representative party, the lady in question would come to your house and present a “show and tell”. You would gather all your friends to try the products. The collection of lipsticks, perfumes and creams filled the room with all kinds of flowery scents. It was a very pleasant feeling and encouraged to buy.
How the Avon Lady Was So Effective:
- She connected with you on a personal level
- She was engaging and wanted to find out your interests
- She built trust by appealing to your needs
- She interested you in her products by having you try them
- Best of all she closed the deal… Why? Because she has created a relationship with you and a need for her products
How Social Media Became Today’s Avon Lady:
In our digital world, we can do the same virtually using some of the social media platforms by:
Connecting: On a personal level, it is best to create content that strikes an emotional cord. This content resonates best on platforms like Facebook and Twitter where you can actually “make friends”.
Engaging: Finding common ground with subjects of mutual interest can create engagement. The best approach for this is by following Twitter hashtags and joining conversations. Look at the “buzz” created during the #WorldCup2014. Other methods include using Facebook for discussion either in groups or commenting on your friends’ posts.
Building Trust: Having like-minded friends and followers, we have now built a level of trust. However, I would not abuse this! Case in point: If I am your friend and I have commented on your posts, please don’t bombard me with your product. Keep things very simple and let the user (friend) decide for themselves. Always give CONTROL to your followers!
Interest: It is essential to provide content that resonates with your followers. There are plenty of good analytics programs that can help give you an idea of what your audience is reacting to. When on Facebook, we use insights as a guide to find out what our visitors like.
Closing the Deal: Once all this activity is in place we now have to close the deal. Before we write content for any project, we have to set clear objectives. We have to create a need for the products and services by offering useful, compelling information, either by showing an image with the product in use, by making useful suggestions or offering self-improvement tips. Once followers feel comfortable with your brand they become brand ambassadors or advocates and their networks of followers will react accordingly to their recommendations.
Seeding and cultivating social platforms take time. We are conditioned to think that we can get instant sales and results but as with anything else, particularly with social media, you still have to pay your dues.
The one thing the Avon Lady did have was eternal patience.