We’ve got all these words for getting people to buy the thing we’re selling.
Sales, for one. Marketing. Advertising. Public relations. Customer service.
If you work within a medium to large size corporation, these aren’t just words, but entire departments of people dedicating their every work day to essentially get people to buy the thing their organization is selling.
If you’re on a small team or by yourself, you do all of these things regularly. Often, daily.
After all, if you don’t sell the thing, whether it’s an actual product or a service you provide, your paycheck, professional reputation, and/or career is negatively affected.
So you’ve gone through some sort of sales training. Even if you haven’t sold anything yet, you’ve at least bought things before. You know what it’s like to be on the buying end of a sales process.
One thing you’ve probably heard about this sales process is that the potential client must know, like, and trust you to eventually give you their money.
KNOW, LIKE, TRUST
Right? We’ve all heard this.
It’s more or less common sense.
If a potential client doesn’t know you and your product, they won’t buy.
If they know you and your product, but don’t like you and/or your product, they won’t buy.
And if they know and like you and your product, but still can’t trust you and/or your product, they won’t buy.
This becomes especially true the higher the price tag.
We’re all human. We don’t like to be taken advantage of. We work hard for our money. We’re not going to waste it on something we’re not sure of.
As someone that sells, your task is to get the potential client to be sure enough to give you their money.
Ask anyone that’s been told “NO” before – this is no small order.
And now, as I’m sure you’ve noticed and have been a part of, there’s been a major shift in consumer behavior regarding this sales process.
Your potential client is no longer waiting to know, like, and trust you when they walk into your office or store or talk to you on the phone.
They’re starting WAY before that.
In fact, most of my clients and I’m sure some of yours will never even meet you in person.
Because of our hyper-connectedness online, your potential client is used to being able to know, like, and trust other brands solely online.
And because of this consumer behavior shift, you must provide this online experience as well.
Waiting for your phone to ring or your door to open to make your best impression does not work anymore. You will be left behind in this ever-changing online world.
[bctt tweet=”Waiting for your phone to ring or your door to open to make your best impression does not work anymore.” username=”britkolo”]
So how do we transfer this offline KNOW-LIKE-TRUST process to online and still get people to buy our thing?
Realize the tactics to do this will differ from business to business. But the follow over-arching principles and strategies will stay the same.
For a potential client to know you, you have to be present online where they’re present online.
(I’m telling you, this isn’t rocket science.)
Where does your ideal client go online to engage with a business like yours?
Refer to a recent blog post, Where to Attract the Best Client Ever, for a full rundown of deciding where to show up online to attract that best client ever.
For a potential client to like you, you have to speak to their personality.
We’re all different, I get that. But through critical definition of who your ideal client is, you’ll get a clearer picture of the personality you’d like to attract to your business.
Refer to the recent post, How to Attract the Best Client Ever, for this rundown.
Ideally, your natural personality will attract the type of client you’re looking for.
In the end, you’ll most likely find that being yourself online is the way to go (unless you completely suck as a person, but if that’s the case, you’re probably not in sales 😉 ).
This one’s the trickiest, right? For a potential client to trust you, you have to prove that you will take care of them exactly as you say you will.
I see businesses struggle with this online because they get stuck thinking, “I can’t prove to them that I’ve got their back until they buy. It’s so much easier to just have them in front of me and sell it.”
If this is the case for you, here’s what I recommend to build trust online:
Think of the online trust-building phase as a dating relationship. There’s no ring yet – no binding commitment – so it’s fragile. You’ve got to care for this relationship gently if you want to take it anywhere.
How would you do this is real life?
- You’d show up consistently.
- You’d give, give, give before taking.
- You’d treat them better than they’d ever expected.
So, in business…
- Set and stick to a schedule for how often you’ll engage with your potential clients online. If you plan to email them once a week, never miss a week. If you plan to engage with them daily on Facebook, never miss a day.
- Give your potential client unmistakeable value for free. I’m not saying giving away your services for free – this isn’t a charity, it’s a business. But you can offer helpful bits of information, education, and care online. This usually comes in the form of content (blog posts, downloadable guides and PDFs, video tutorials, etc) and through answering questions your potential client has through social media posts and comments.
- Treat your potential client like they’re already your client. This is, of course, assuming that you treat your clients the best you possibly can, just like you would your spouse. Make your potential client feel as if they’re already getting the “star treatment” to give them an accurate taste of what it’s like to work with you.
There are several moving parts to creating a brilliant presence online, one that fosters this seller-buyer relationship so that it feels good for all parties involved.
But remember how it works offline and then transfer those skills to online.