Back in the 1990s I was a sales trainer. In my workshops, I taught salespeople how to find target customers, identify the needs of those customers, and demonstrate how their company’s product met those needs.
I taught that after closing the sale, salespeople should provide awesome customer service, to turn customers into raving fans.
People first became customers then turned into fans.
Today, this model has flipped. Successful businesses create fans first, and customers second.
The main reason for this flip is social media. When you’ve got fans on social media, they tell their friends about your products. They do your selling for you. I like to call these fans your social media sales force.
Here’s how to crowdsource your sales force using social media.
- Choose one social network. Don’t try to conquer Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Tumblr all at once. Instead, pick one channel, and learn to do it well. How do you choose a channel? Find out where your customers hang out.
- Be authentic. Social media isn’t about being perfect, it’s about being real. If your content is too highly produced, you’ll scare customers away. They’ll think you’ve got something to hide. Share the things that interest you. Be raw, be real, and be relevant. It’s totally okay to be a nerd.
- Reach up to the top. With social media, there are no gatekeepers. You can connect with anyone. So keep your eyes open for people who could help your business. Then connect with them. Starting a conversation is easier than you ever thought possible.
- Have a social media power hour. Set aside an hour a day for connecting with your fans on social media. It’s an investment you’ll never regret.
- Provide excellent customer service. Be sure to listen out for people discussing your business or brand on social media. If you find complaints, respond. You’ll build trust and show that you care. Listening on social media is also and excellent way of finding out what your customers want.