Connecting with Customers: Whilst you may associate building bridges with a management or leadership role, the same principals do however apply when looking to sell your product or service to potential customers. The difference here is HOW you build that bridge, the platforms that you use to establish a sturdy relationship. The crux here is of course, establishing trust, and not only that, but doing so in a way wherein you are fighting to stay in the consciousness of your prospects and also appear honest, transparent and memorable.
There are two ways we can now begin connecting with customers, and these can be titled Directly and Remotely. Each are as important as the other, and whilst Direct bridge building will help to solidify a solid foundation of trust, Remote bridge building will improve your reach, convey that same message of trust and implant your product in the mind of the consumer.
Connecting with Customers
When you’re face to face, or voice to voice with a customer, you must remember to stop selling. Stop selling and start building a relationship. This is ultimately achieved by conversation, honest, genuine conversation that reveals the information you need, that you must then be alert to, in a way that doesn’t simply elbow a product into the hands of a prospect that might not need it or have any interest in it and who, ergo, is never going to buy into it. If you can learn who your customer is through quality conversations, know what they’re going to be interested in and suggest useful products by way of example, you’ll rocket in trust value and have laid the foundations for a sturdy bridge.
This in essence, is engaging with the customer; connecting to them on a personal level and involving them through meaningful, two way conversation before finishing on a sale; a recommendation and an agreement.
So then, when your prospect hasn’t come to you, how do you reach out to them without compromising trust value? The answer is social media.
Spending time on social platforms allows you to create an affinity between your prospects and yourself. That doesn’t mean constantly barraging adverts and links to your own website; in fact, it means the opposite. Relevant or scarcely relevant topics that get people talking increase your trust value tenfold, it’s the same old story, nobody wants to be sold to anymore, so what you need to do instead, is become a part of the story. And you do this through our old friend, conversations.
Communicating and chiefly, engaging over Twitter or Facebook puts your product and your company name to the top of the mind, but it also builds relationships, it makes you appear transparent, it accentuates your company personality and most of all, it makes you one of them, someone relatable.
And that’s what building bridges remotely is all about; establishing trust and a relationship before the customer has even really required your product. If they’ve seen something, or read something they like and find useful, perhaps shared it with their friends thus increasing the virality of your company name, you are instantly at the forefront of their thoughts when it comes to needing a product. They know you, they trust you because that bridge has been built where other brands haven’t snapped up the opportunity to do so.
Selling is now all about approaching from new angles, and social media is an integral part of the process. Build better bridges wherever you are, and success will become its by-product.
This article was written by Sean McPheat, Managing Director of MTD – the sales training specialists. For courses that align your teams with the latest, cutting edge, proven sales techniques, look no further than MTD Sales Training!