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Our Thinking

Trust Over Time

How long does it take you to make a sale?  And is it faster when you use traditional marketing and sales techniques, or Social Media-based ones?

In the traditional marketing and sales arena, advertising informs prospective customers about a product or service. Those that need it will show up and buy it. In the more sophisticated business-to-business sales process, it’s about the same – find prospects and tell them about your products and services.  Those who are ready to buy will buy, and others won’t. The whole paradigm is based on identifying prospects, informing them, and selling to them.

Social Media marketing is built on engagement (the conversation) and developing the relationship. Only when the relationship is strong enough, when there is trust, will there be the possibility of a sale.

Some considerations:

  • As prospects are getting to know you, they will identify your capabilities (trust happens over time). This is in contrast with traditional marketing, where expertise leads, and the relationship follows.
  • “Sales” in Social Media are more pull than push. It’s more likely they will initiate the sales process when they are ready – after all, they know their needs better than you do.
  • You still need to ask for the sale – sort of. Exposing your expertise over time within the context of a two-way, non-broadcast relationship, is a far more powerful implicit ask.

Do your Social Media activities shout Buy Me? Or do they seek to improve your credibility and grow the relationship? Make sure everything you do falls into the second category – not the first. How long does it take to make a sale?  It depends on how quickly you earn it.  Trust happens over time.

President of 108 ideaspace, Randall Craig is a leading Social Media & Web Strategist.  Once a month we share Randall Craig’s blog here on 108 ideaspace. However, the Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to www.RandallCraig.com to register.

This post has been written by 108’s Senior Advisor and former CEO Randall Craig.