Interesting quote in an article 

Salesforce survey, 85% of consumers conduct research before they make a purchase online, and among the most used channels for research are websites (74%) and social media (38%). Consequently, businesses need to have an effective online strategy to increase brand awareness and grow.

So I clicked through to the research and, sigh, it was taken in 2017.

Which is 3 years ago, which is a life time in the world of digital and pre-covid19.

But let's think about it, if that was the figures 3 years ago, the figure for social media will be higher and the figure for websites will be lower. 

But the fact of the matter is that we ALL now go online and check a company out on social media before we buy.

What We Know To be True

How is Social Media Making an Impact?

Simon Kemp in his research says that there are 4.57 Billion people in the world on the internet, that is up 7% on last year.  There are 3.81 Billion people, active, on social media.  That is up 300 million on last year.

So while "Sharon" on facebook left Facebook, 300 million people joined.

Covid19 has seen a 50% increase in social media usage.

In fact the world has changed with social media, from the way ideas are propagated to the way we do business. 

Websites

We know that websites have become "meh".  

In this research, researchers analyzed 10,000 websites — and yes, they all look the same.

We all know what we get when we go to a website "buy our stuff because we are great" .... everybody say it so we don't bother going to websites anymore.

The Big Selling Reset

The “problem” that companies have today is that they position their company as “buy my products because they are great”.

This is fundamentally flawed because everybody, including their competitors, say exactly the same.  

You are just a zebra in a herd of zebras.

As a buyer, I know nothing about what your company does so how do I make a choice when all products sound the same?  You may say that your company is different or you don’t have competitors but I can show you companies that look and sound the same.

So when you say "buy my product because it's great" it is what everybody says and you are "just another product" and your salespeople are "just another salesperson" with the same generic message.

In a covid 19 world, where there has been economic shrinkage, the winners will be those that win the most deals.  To win the most deals you need to understand the modern buyer and equip your sales people with the tools and techniques to enable them to sell to the modern buyer.

Why Buying Today is Just a Blur

Your buyer is just like me, we know nothing about your company and you look like everybody else and it all becomes a blur.

The second issue they have is that the world is online.  As soon as you put your products in front of me, I go online and do a comparison.

This will comparison will involve Google searches, reading content on social, asking my network questions.

Anything a company does, advertising, cold calling, email marketing, brochures, will trigger the buyer to search for alternatives online.

Interrupt me with an advert and it triggers me to do a comparison.  The problem is, that if you are not on social then you are not part of that comparison.

If I tell you the BMW 4 Series is the best car in the world, you will go online and give me a list of cars that are similar or even better.  All without BMW or a salesperson knowing you have done it.

I spotted a product on a Facebook Ad the other day and look the product up on Amazon and it was cheaper.  So what did I do? Buy it on Amazon of course.  Here was a marketing team, spending marketing dollars for me to buy from the competition.  Why would you do that? 

The Companies That Win in this Pandemic

The companies that will win in this pandemic are those that realise they need to cut the corporate rubbish and build relationships and have conversations.  

Know me, like me, trust me.  

When we go to social media to get content, we don't look at a company social media page, we look at the employees social media pages.  I read an article not because a company has posted it .... we avoid this material because it will say "buy my stuff because it's great". We know it will be biased.

Where as, if we read content from our network, the people we know, like and trust .... then this is the stuff we are interested in.

A read a person's post because I like that person.

People buy from people they know and trust.

How People Buy - Case Study

Last November, a BMW dealer in the UK had 28 pieces of inbound to buy a BMW car, they converted 14 of those into sales.  

14 sales x 50,000 Euro = 700,000 Euros additional revenue for zero marketing spend.  

This was the same month that their competitor, Jaguar Land Rover complained they were not selling cars and were therefore stopping production.  

But There is More - Another Business Case Maybe?

In this interview with Danielle Guzman who is Global Head of Social Media for Mercer and we discuss "5 Things to Kick Start Your Employee Advocacy Program" and she shares the value they have gained from empowering their employees with social media.

Mercer are getting 3 to 4 times the attributed revenue than the brand generates.  Can you believe that? If the brand is creating $10 million, then empowering your team on social will generate $40 million.

There could be a business case there, ny suggestion is that you use an outside company to help you. Hint, hint. ;)

There Are Clear Winners and Losers in This Digital World

There are clear winners and losers starting to happen in the social space.  

What you need to do right now ...

Your business needs to get digital skilled.  You need to train your sales team in a methodology that will enable them to prospect where your clients are .... on social media.  They need to have the skills to build relationships in a world where there are no face-to-face meetings.

They need to be able to accelerate their pipeline and close business through social.

Why?

Because this is where your prospects are right now and if you are not on social, then you are invisible.

If you are ready to give your team the digital skills they need then contact me here.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/timothyhughessocialselling/