New Sales Trend: Social Selling

What is social selling?  

Social selling is the use of social media to build and maintain positive relationships with potential customers. This technique allows businesses to reach sales goals in a quicker and more effective manner, as well as possibly eliminate the need to cold call customers. Social selling allows businesses to communicate directly with interested buyers and build their network through direct conversations via social media platforms. With social selling, companies and businesses are more accessible to potential customers. According to LinkedIn, 78% of social sellers outsell those who do not use social media as a sales tactic.  

Social selling makes it easier for businesses to connect with potential buyers and reach out for sales opportunities at appropriate times. Many companies are using social selling as a tactic and may not even know it! If companies have a professional Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn, they have already begun the social selling process.

Here are three steps on how to use social selling to improve your business…

Develop a reliable brand:

The first step to social selling is to develop a professional brand image to draw customers in and increase your legitimacy in the industry. Customers want to buy from businesses who are established and well trusted by the public.  First impressions matter to customers, and a well maintained and sophisticated profile will help to attract interest from potential buyers. A key step to developing a professional and reliable brand is to include endorsements from prior customers.  

Build a brand personality:

The second step to social selling is to build a brand personality.  In order to keep customers interested in your social media platforms, it is important to build a consistent voice for each post and individual message.  This voice should portray the values of the company and make the customer feel like they are communicating with the same person every time, and therefore building a stronger relationship.  The personality of the voice in the accounts should be something that a customer could relate to. Posts should be clear and cohesive so that they are easy for the customer to understand.

Consistently connect with new and old customers:

The third step to social selling is to engage and connect with new and old customers. Social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn allow businesses to easily reach out to potential buyers with new information via posts and individual messaging.  Social media can keep new and old customers up to date with the happenings of a business, as well as promote new sales opportunities. Some advice for reaching out to new customers is to use a customizable message to try to build a relationship before trying to sell anything.  After initially reaching out to the customer, a social seller must continue to follow up in order to build a stronger relationship. By building a strong relationship, customers are more likely to purchase from the business.

If you are looking to improve your marketing, click here to check out our MaxExposure products page!

“What Is Social Selling?” LinkedIn, LinkedIn Corporation, 2019, business.linkedin.com/sales-solutions/social-selling/what-is-social-selling#.

New Marketing Trend: Experiential Retail

Although we all tend to think that retail shopping is soon to disappear entirely, our newest consumer generation, Gen Z, begs to differ. Generation Zers, also known as the “Post-Millennial” generation, still love taking trips to the mall or the nearest outlets. They look at retail shopping as an opportunity for an experience. Millennials and Baby Boomers view retail shopping as a hassle or inefficient as compared to online shopping, leading us to believe brick-and-mortar will soon become obsolete.

So how do we take full advantage of this new change in shopping trends Generation Z is bringing? How do we maximize the amount of customers we can get off their laptops, and into our retail stores? The answer is simple. They want an experience, then that’s what we have to give them. Experiential retail.

No matter what type of company you are operating or who your target market is, there is always opportunity to create an experience when customers visit your business. Let’s say you operate a kids hairdressing salon, you can give your customers an experience by offering fun hairstyles after the haircut. Maybe even offer a little something for the parents as well such as sample packets of hair products or refreshments. If you own a restaurant, offer free bread or free small dessert samples to your customers. This will give them something to remember you for, and something to look forward to next time. It’s all about making their in-store experience more enjoyable and more fun. If they wanted simple, easy, and to-the-point, they’d be ordering online.

The key to experiential retail is giving the customer something they cannot get when they order online.

The issue of decreased retail shopping over the years has frustrated many businesses and has even forced some to close their doors and sell solely online. This is nothing to be frustrated about. Consumers are more informed in their decision-making than ever before. They are looking up product ingredients before making a purchase, and searching various sites or stores to find the best deal on a product before deciding where to buy it. This is something to admire and take full advantage of. Why should a customer come to your store if the only difference between that and ordering online is the efficiency?

We need to rethink the way we do retail and the goal we wish to accomplish through our retail. Retail used to simply be about maximizing sales and getting more customers to leave with your products. Now it’s all about the before, during, and after of the sale. How does your company present the product to the consumer? What do you offer the customer while they’re shopping to keep them engaged in the experience? How does your company show their appreciation for the customer as they’re leaving?

I’m not meaning to say you have to give customers something to incentivize them to visit your retail business, this can be done through customer service as well. If you offer them exceptional customer service and professional expertise on the product or service, they will make improved purchasing decisions as opposed to if they purchased alone online, and they will therefore visit your store. Building on and further improving your retail experience for customers will not only increase your retail sales, but your customer loyalty, brand differentiation, and overall customer satisfaction as well.

If you are looking to improve your retail business’ marketing, click here to check out our MaxExposure products!

Enjoy the blog?! Check out our blog on Top 5 Super Bowl Commercials of 2019 !

Prospecting Tip: Reference USA

Today we go through some tips on using ReferenceUSA for prospecting. If you aren’t familiar with ReferenceUSA, it is a database full of business and consumer information. By using the filters you can reach your ideal prospects and find out who the decision maker is in just a few minutes. Plus, it’s free!


Employee Feature: Alli Burns, Marketing Assistant

Hi!! My name is Alli and I’m the face behind many of the MaxExposure blog posts! I have been working with MaxExposure for a little over a year as a marketing assistant. To give you a little background on me, I am originally from Connecticut, I am a marketing major attending Bentley University, I am a big red sox fan, and on the weekends you can catch me watching Friends reruns!

What do you do for MaxExposure?

I am responsible for creating and posting social media content for customers to maximize their social media engagement and following. I am also responsible for creating and publishing content on our MaxExposure blog to give our customers, and blog viewers, social media tips and inform them of new marketing trends to help them improve their own marketing strategy!

What is your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of my job is hearing back from my boss, Aly, that one of my clients is loving the content I am posting for them. To know that I am not only helping a company increase their online following and sales, but that I’ve actually excited them about their social media account, and their business in general, is extremely rewarding.

I’ve also greatly enjoyed writing and publishing our MaxExposure blogs and learning about new marketing topics, tips, and trends that not only can help our customers, but make me a better marketer as well! ((Click here to check out more of our MaxExposure blogs and get tips on how to improve your company’s marketing!))

Why do you feel companies should choose MaxExposure?

I think companies looking to improve their marketing tactics and company profitability should choose MaxExposure because they are a family-run business. Being a family-run business means they are extremely invested in their customer’s satisfaction with our services. In using a larger marketing company, often times your only point of contact is “customer service” calls and email. At MaxExposure, any time a customer has a concern about their products, they have the opportunity to reach out and speak directly with the employee in charge of providing their services.

Speaking with the actual person in charge of the services gives the customer an opportunity to not only consult that employee regarding their concerns, but collaborate with them and get advice from an expert on how to improve.

What is your favorite MaxExposure product?

My favorite MaxExposure product is the new Website Builder product! A lot of small businesses have outdated or nonfunctional websites so being able to see the transformation of their online company image has been amazing! 

 

If you need us to boost your social media following and engagement, check out our MaxExposure Social Posting products today!

Prospecting 101

Today we go through some tips to use referenceUSA. referenceUSA is a free database of businesses. You can slice and dice the settings to fit your ideal prospect. This is getting back to basics, when you don’t have a full prospect pipeline, and don’t want to spend any money. Try using referenceUSA to start your day off productive.

 

Are you networking with the right people?!

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Do you go to networking events regularly? Networking events allow you to show your support for the local community and establish yourself as the local expert. As you establish more relationships in the community you will start to see awesome things happen. People want to do business with people they have a good relationship with.

3 Tips for Communicating with Customers

Your customers are the only reason that you exist. They are the ones that buy your products/services and provide the feedback that improves your brand. How you communicate with your customers and your tone and expressions while speaking to them has a bigger impact than what you’re actually saying to your customers. How you interact with your customers also will directly reflect how they interact & communicate their opinions on your business, in the form of reviews & when recommending you to a friend.

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Occasionally, you will have an easy-going customer that takes in every word and piece of advice that you give as if it was water in the Sahara desert. However, the rest of the time, customers may not always be easy or delightful to converse with.

So… how can you hone in on your communication skills to make every conversation an easy one? Albert Mehranian, an expert on communication and professor of psychology at UCLA tells us that successful communication is 55% body language, 38% tone and 7% word choice. Below are three tips on how you can improve how you communicate with your customers…

Choose your words carefully!

Establishing a close relationship with your customers helps to provide a feeling of comfort and trust in communication. When speaking to customers, using certain words or phrases can help portray a positive or negative image of a company.  Most importantly, one word answers are NEVER an answer. Follow simple grammatical rules to avoid being seen as short or cold by always using at least 3 words in every response to a client. 

pexels-photo-838413.jpegThis same rule applies to when you are not communicating with customers face-to-face, and are instead communicating over platforms such as Live Chat, over the phone or through email. When people are communicating over these platforms rather than in person, they tend to forget these customer communication norms. Without being face-to-face and having those non-verbal communicators, forgetting to include the proper verbal phrases or words with customers can do even more harm than it might if you were speaking in person with the customer. The following word choice graphic displays words and phrases that may create positive or negative sentiments towards your company:

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Words Express Ideas, Tone Expresses Emotions..

Knowing your customers is the most important part of utilizing tone in order to reflect company values. More than company values, tone also identifies personality. When a customer feels that they know the company values and can relate to the personality of its employees, a sense of trust is created. Trust is the most important part in a business transaction and a customer is more likely to be a repeat customer if they truly trust your company. Therefore, it is important to reflect company values in the tone that you use when speaking to customers because it is what helps create your company image.

hands-coffee-cup-apple.jpgKnowing how to convey this same tone nonverbally, such as over email or online messaging, as well as verbally but not in person, such as over the phone or on a live chat, is also extremely important in maintaining good relationships with your customers. On the phone and over live chat, tone of voice is essential in communicating effectively with your customers and maintaining a productive and engaged conversation. Over email or online messaging platforms, this tone of voice can be expressed in the form of exclamation points, allowing the customer to read your messages in that welcoming, friendly tone of voice you are trying to convey.

A good tip for recognizing the tone you are communicating over non verbal or written words, is to read over your message prior to sending it to the client and seeing what tone of voice you read the message in:

“Thank you for your feedback, we hope you visit our restaurant soon.”  vs…

“Thank you for your feedback! We hope you visit our restaurant soon!!”

When people read your emails or online messages, they create the tone of voice the message conveys in their head based on the punctuation, as well as the words themselves. It is important here to see how big of a difference the punctuation alone makes to the tone of the message. The second line sounds enthusiastic and friendly, whereas the first line sounds dull and bored.

How we Communicate Non Verbally

Much of business interactions are personal and various studies show that over 50% of communication between individuals is nonverbal. Using these nonverbal communicators when communicating in person with customers is extremely important in the customer’s interpretation of what you are saying, as well as how genuine they determine your words to be.

When communicating over live chats rather than in person, these nonverbal communicators will not be as obvious or recognized by the customer, so exaggerating these cues will allow you to again, insure that the customer correctly interprets what you are saying. Below is a graphic with the most important types of nonverbal communication that can help you to build trust and credibility with clients.

 

 

 

 

 

By following these 3 pieces of advice and utilizing our Live Chat and Customer Voice products, making every business conversation, whether it’s over video chat, on the phone, or in person, become much easier. Good communication and productive conversations reflects positively in customer reviews and leads to repeat business.

We can help you communicate! Contact us today to find out how our services can change the way you communicate with your customers, for the better!

To ensure you’re communicating with your customers as effectively as possible check out our customer service tools which can help increase your positive reviews online & the ability for customers to reach you through live chat to quickly answer their questions!

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Real Life Networking

Youth culture. Four young people sitting close to each other and looking at their gadgets

Let’s do a vote. Raise your hand if you see the same three people every morning at Starbucks. Now raise your hand if you have that one person you see at the gym almost everyday, who is always using the machine you want to use. Ok, now raise your hand if you have said a single word to them before.

With our advances in social media, networking & connecting with others has become easier than ever before. Even with this simplicity, we still refuse to acknowledge people we don’t know both in person and online. Why don’t we say hi to each other anymore?! Why are we SO AWKWARD!!

The average person probably visits five to ten different locations in any given day; Starbucks for the morning coffee run, CVS to pick up some extra Advil, work, subway for lunch, the gym, and maybe the gas station on the way home. It’s safe to say that throughout your busy day, you cross paths with over one hundred people you’ve never met before, most of whom you see almost every day without even noticing it.

Imagine how many more connections you would make, and the people you would meet if you simply tapped the guy standing in line in front of you at Starbucks and started a conversation. If you get rejected, you get rejected and you never have to see or speak to them again. The alternative would be you both hit it off and you’ve increased your network of people by one.

Why so Shy??

My boss has lived by this motto for years now. Almost every time he comes into close contact with someone he doesn’t know, he introduces himself and starts a conversation. This is how he met his pilates instructor, the guy he shares his office space with, and so many other people he now considers his friends.

Twitter profile on Apple iPhone 5S

He does the same thing online on social media. Every time he friends someone on Facebook or whenever someone friends him, he messages them and simply says “Hey, saw we are friends on Facebook now! How are you?” (yes, he’s the guy who’s message you deleted yesterday cause you thought he was creepy).

There is this stigma that reaching out to someone you don’t know well online, or even in person is strange and awkward. But isn’t it slightly more awkward to stand behind the same person everyday in line at Starbucks without even acknowledging one another? Or “friending” someone on Facebook and then not ever actually talking to them?

Imagine a world where you knew someone almost everywhere you went, and if you didn’t know anyone you would introduce yourself and then you would know someone there too. Networking in real life and not just online is extremely important not only in business, but in life in general.

I’m not trying to be your mother here telling you to, “shut off your cell phones!!” or “Talk to people in person, not via text!” I’m telling you to use your cell phones! Use your social media to connect with people! Use your cell phone to add the number you just got from the person you met in line at Starbucks and call them!

Go outside your comfort zone and push yourself to meet at least one person every day. Growing your network and making more connections will lead you to success in all aspects of your life. Stop being so socially awkward and let’s get networking!!