The past few months have changed everything I thought I was and what I thought I could become professionally. Ever since starting to work in the same room as a team of highly skilled sales people, I’ve realized that there are a lot of similarities between selling and being sleek&social. I looked at the problems I used to have with how people interact with/fall in love with a brand and/or a set of products from a different perspective. There is something that drives every bone in my body to make the things I find very useful in my own life become desirable for others who are willing to pay for them. Yet, this question prevails: what does it take to be the one who convinces?
“Sell me this pen!” was the first sentence that lead me to a very tough conclusion I had to face at that time: basically, all of Social Media is filled with messages about how great this and that product is, but a consumer, no matter whether we are talking about me, you, him or her, isn’t interested in all that. The thing is, what drives us to seek out a great product is our problem, or at least the one we think we have or the one we think others might think we have. This goes for B2C as well as for B2B, because it is, in my opinion, a problem among People2People. People are the ones who drive us up or push us down and we do as they say. This makes me wonder whether influencers (or the people we think are influencers) could be a solution to drive sales.
To put it into perspective: a couple of months ago, I heard about the quantified self movement and all the diverse fitness tracking devices that exist in this world…and thought is was a big hot piece of nonsense. Then, weeks after, I heard about a very serious illness in my family and thought that bad eating habits and non-existing fitness activities might have been a cause for that. Suddenly, the idea of something being able to track your lifestyle didn’t seem so bad after all. A friend from work told me that maybe I would find an incentive to lose weight by recording my fitness activities and trying to get the most out of them. And then, after having started to eat a lot healthier than I used to, I came across an app called My Fitness Pal, where you could record everything you ate and calculate how much weight you would be able to lose. Two months of using this app was the trigger for me: I am now eagerly waiting to buy myself a new UP3 as soon as it is on the market.
There was a long journey until my purchase intention arose and I don’t know whether you could take this journey, copy it, replace “fitness tracker” with “cloud” and see if you can sell like that. I do know that I am willing to try this out, even if it is not something that has been done in my field before. That’s why I think that Social Media can take people from unawareness and lead them to a point where they need a friend (in which case, a reference comes along) to tell them what works and that they should use it. This is what I personally think turns somebody from a good into a great Salesmensch.
Some points still need to be tested out: How do you attract attention faster? How do you standardize the process? How can you get the best for a client if you still don’t know what exactly it is he needs? People have told me that if you’re a great seller, you need to go to a client knowing all the problems he secretly has and just prompt with personalized solutions. But do you like that friend who always tells you that you have gained weight and you should try out the new protein shakes he recommends? Or would you rather talk to your trusted friend who listens to your problems and then tells you he might know somebody who can help?
This article has also been published on LinkedIn. Because, why not?