There’s lots of talk out there about social selling, and the messages range from ‘don’t do it’ right through to some involved strategies that take ongoing analytics into account.
One thing that has struck me (and the saleswoman that lurks within) is that I’ve yet to read about the buying cycle.
“What’s the buying cycle?” I hear you ask.
Let me explain.
We all have a buying cycle for every purchase we make. Sometimes it’s very detailed and can take place over a period of months or maybe years (take a new car or a house, for example)
At other times it’s quick and dazzlingly straightforward, like deciding to buy a bottle of wine for an evening in by the fire.
Either way, every purchase will have one. And the mistake that so many of us are still making on social media is blatantly promoting our products or services in the vain hope that our audience will be in ‘ready to buy’ mode. Chances are they won’t be and that’s when you’ll lose their attention, possibly for good.
The higher the ticket value, the more complex and lengthy the cycle will be, so your time is better invested in relationship-building prior to the buying decision being made. Do this well and you’ll ensure that your name is in the frame when that decisions is made. Call it ‘pre-purchase relationship-building’. Call it what you like, just don’t go inappropriately shouting about your product because if your audience isn’t in ‘ready to buy’ mode, it won’t listen.
Used intelligently you will find that social media could easily become your greatest tool for cultivating future business, but it pays to understand the buying cycle first and why it’s relevant.
Let me explain further with the aid of this infographic:
Of course, this is a very simple representation and it will vary greatly depending on your line of business. And it’s worth bearing in mind that sadly there is no software as far as I’m aware that can determine where all your followers are on the scale.
Sales pitches don’t work on social media. Understanding the buying cycle does.
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