How to piss people off
It was my BD recently and at the end of the day, a message popped into my Messenger. A complete stranger wishing me a happy birthday. But it turned out, as I suspected, she didn’t give a shit about my BD. She quickly dispersed with BD niceties and went into the real reason she had contacted me and that was to sell me her network marketing course.
I think I can never be surprised how low people’s approach to sales is and shit it is. But to crash someone’s birthday is just crass and a new low. I know that large retailers tend to do it but they ask and even their approach is usually just to say happy birthday or even send you a gift or a voucher.
I think people get blatantly sold to so often they brush it aside and deal with the pain in the arse it is. Every so often though, you will see a Facebook post or an Instagram story where someone has just been pushed to the limits by the crass way in which people can try and sell to you.
The problem with sales
This is where the problem lies in sales. There are people who are naturals, they understand people, they like selling, they don’t piss you off, it feels part of who they are and you don’t even realise you are being sold to. Then there are people who think they can sell and are so obvious with it. It is pure luck they manage to make sales because they are so prolific and it is the law of averages by which they succeed but they leave a trail of pissed off people in their wake.
Then there are people who completely dread it, don’t understand it and it stops them moving their business forward and can be damaging your business more because you are fearful and that will come across in your approach.
Make it about engagement
Stop stressing about it. Instead of selling start engaging. Get to know the people that are interested in your services and/or products. Gary Veynerchuk grew his father’s liquor business and turned it into $60m wine warehouse and he started this growth by sitting for hours and hours and hours on Twitter answering questions about wine. He didn’t try and sell wine to anyone he just acted interested and answered questions. Because of the appreciation, they had for him, people started to trust him and follow him, this, in turn, led to sales.
You have way more platforms to engage on than Gary did at the time he was going through this process. So the chances for you to support others, grow a loyal following that will, in turn, lead to sales,
Stop thinking that one post will a sales make.
In 2011 Google wrote a white paper called Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT). It is a very interesting read if you want to go and take a look. Some of the figures may have changed today but you get the message. At the time the research showed that people need to spend 7 hours, with 11 interactions over four locations with you before they trust you enough to even consider buying.
The point is you can’t just dump a few ‘buy my products/services’ into Facebook and expect people to come rushing.
Stop trying to sell, reframe what you are doing and become an engager. In episode 010 of The Angela Harkness show, I talk about creating ‘a worship at the church of following’.
Before you even get to ‘worship at the church of’ you need to create a lot of content. Seven hours, 11 interactions, four locations is a lot of content. However, as ZMOT shows you need to move people along the road from never knowing anything about you to handing over their hard-earned money.
People need to go from being someone who has never heard of you, to being aware of you, to popping on and actually reading a social media post, rather than scrolling through it, to visiting in your website, to consistently reading your content, to signing up for your newsletter, to purchasing your product or service to telling others to do the same.
This is a long journey and you have to provide engagement along the way and then beyond.
Become an engagement Queen
How to become an engagement Queen.
- If you are going through content on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, TikTok, YouTube and anywhere else you may consume it then add comments. Don’t just brush by or like the post. Actually engage with the poster. Set yourself a goal to comment on a specified number of relevant posts each year.
- Instagram is a perfect one, it is proven that engaging on Instagram creates new followers. So on a daily basis, find 10 hashtags and comment on 10 posts. Make this part of your daily process, you could do this watching the TV, you don’t need to make it onerous and as a result, it will garner new followers.
- Create a Facebook group and make it a good one. Ask questions daily, answer your group members, keep the conversation flowing, find out about them and remember so you can use it for further engagement later.
- Respond to all comments and not just with a heart emoji. Genuinely, reply and try and create a conversation.
- Ask conversational questions on different platforms. Twitter is brilliant for this.
- When you physically network, ask questions, send them an email after you meet and then put details into your CRM so you can continue to engage.
- On LinkedIn when you connect with people engage with them on the basis that you want to know about them, that you are truly interested.
- Be that person that connects others. Join the elite world of the Super Connectors is a post I wrote about how to gain a fan base by being the person who connects.
- Create goals from it. For example at the beginning of each week set a target for how many new connections you are going to create on LinkedIn and how you are going to engage with them.
- Do something above and beyond. To those that are loyal to you, that have signed up for your newsletter send them a gift, even just a handwritten postcard, this is a massive engagement because it shows you care and it is more about them than the sales.
Once you start to master the art of engagement your need to sell reduces because people will want to buy from you, other people will become your sales team because they will encourage others to become a fan and make purchases.
What not to do
When you don’t take the time to engage and grow a relationship with someone before you try and sell to them immediately it is like passing on the street saying hello and then following them home expecting dinner. They are going to say no.
Of course, you have to sell, but those should be rare posts, maybe 1 in 10. Use the power of advertising to sell don’t bombard people with sell, sell, sell. Reframe and engage, engage, engage.
Here is what you don’t do
- Add people to Facebook Groups without permission from the person first, this is a sly sales move and people hate it.
- Connect with someone on LinkedIn and then immediately try to sell to them.
- Slide into someone’s DMs on Instagram and post a sales post without trying to engage with them first.
- Cold call. This is a skill and also with GDPR & PECR you absolutely need to ensure you are fully aware as to whether you can call that person or not. You do not want to find yourself in trouble with the ICO.
- Don’t make your newsletter a sales page. People will not even click to open it and they will start to unsubscribe.
- Don’t create a Facebook group to constantly sell to them you will lose followers, in turn, lose sales
- Don’t just post about yourself constantly mix up your content and support others.
- Don’t make all call to actions about sales. Send then to other content that you have created that will help them.
- When you meet someone, don’t just push a business card in their hand ask questions. Remember who you have met. There is one particular person that I have met four times but every time we meet she acts as she has never met me. Do you think I am buying from her?
- Do not, do not, do not use someone’s BD as an excuse to try and sell to them.
Become the engagement queen be known for being so good at engagement, you will create a much greater loyal following and that will create many more sales than the old sales techniques.