Social Media Is Not About Selling, It’s About Relationship Building #RealTalk
Excuse me while I vent.
I always say “social media is NOT about selling, it’s about relationship building”.
Relationships are a vital commodity to one’s success. You never know when you’ll need to rely on someone else to help open up doors for yourself or a friend in need that otherwise you wouldn’t be able to open on your own. No matter how talented you are, relationships matter. Just ask LeBron James.
Beginning in late 2008, and as a result of a job layoff, I started a business during the recession. By no mistake, but rather by relying on social media to build relationships and grassroots awareness, I lived by this principle: connect, network, add/offer value without expectation of monetary return and repeat again. The first year I was in business I went broke, penniless, bankrupt. But, despite losing everything including my home, the relationships I made were priceless and eventually led me to a six-figure corporate job.
Now, I totally get how connecting through social media is a part of today’s sales process. But, it’s totally unacceptable to follow someone on Twitter or connect through LinkedIn only to follow-up with a sales pitch immediately thereafter. It’s rude, intrusive, not a good representation of you or your brand and a flat out bad business practice.
There’s a way to pitch your product without coming across as “That guy”, the annoying salesman who cons you into a social media connection followed by “lunch” or “coffee” and a sales pitch. Gary Vaynerchuk’s book “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook” is a must-read for every marketer and salesperson or entrepreneur looking to amplify their social network as a tool to grow sales. But, it starts with the relationship. Again, relationships matter.
Whether it’s buying insurance for my family, or a purchasing new software platform for my brand, some of the best relationships I have developed throughout recent years began through a social media connection and many have lead to a business transaction or referral of some kind.
Social media is no different than face-to-face networking, there’s a human element to it. After all it’s all about the end user. Typically, you won’t walk up to someone at a conference or networking event and immediately try to close the sale. If your product is a Cadillac don’t be the pushy salesman, let it sell itself. Build relationships with prospective buyers, tweet to them relative to their industry, engage with their social posts, listen to them, be their friend. That’s a good start to building a relationship. It’s not always about the end-game.
People don’t want to be sold to, especially those who get hit up on company email, personal email, LinkedIn, etc. every day. Again, relationships matter.
Social media isn’t about selling fancy sh*t, it’s about networking and building relationships. Think of relationships like a currency. Don’t underestimate the power of a relationship, I wouldn’t be writing this post if it wasn’t for countless relationships that have helped me get to this point of my career.
~ Carlos Gil
Follow me @CarlosGil83