The sales process often starts with people searching online. By the time the customer gets to the store, they have already been pre-sold by valuable content and insights.
Today, however, I’m happy to use my own personal example. Here is one of my personal social selling tales. I don’t watch a lot of TV but decided to splurge on a really nice LCD Smart TV recently.
I walked into my local Best Buy and walked out with a TV 20 minutes later. Has this ever happened to you?
I started to do my research online and checked out a couple of review sites, watched YouTube demo videos, and so on. In my research I was able to find out the meaning of certain specs (sorry, I’m not that technical) like the difference between 240 MHz vs. 120 MHz and why a good remote matters.
Thank goodness I did all this because there was one model I really wanted but it had some of the worst reviews. When I checked out the YouTube videos of owners trying out that TV, it confirmed why I shouldn’t buy it.
So, while the marketing department at this major TV manufacturer was working overtime to push that model, the on-ground reality was quite different: it was a first-grade, world-class piece of junk!
Next, I turned to social media. I went out to my friends and connections on Facebook and posed the question. It brought back a HUGE amount of responses. People had a lot to say.
Last, I started to check out prices. I’m sure you know about these “deal comparison” websites, so I headed straight there to see what this should cost me. Plus, I had friends on Facebook reach out to their friends and ask questions.
I Got The Best Price
Want to know how I got the best price? Turns out an old friend from high school is dating a Manager from Best Buy who told me to look out for certain triggers. In this case, if the price ended with a certain number, it would indicate that it’s going on sale soon. And that’s exactly what I did.
All In a Day’s Work
Okay, so it didn’t take a day but it took less than a week. I was able to go into Best Buy, find the first sales person I could, and tell him exactly what I wanted. I told him the model #, the price I found it for elsewhere (yep, a price match was given), and I walked out with the TV in no time.
The Bottom Line
What’s the point of all this? While the sales rep thought he was a rock star for selling me a TV in 20 minutes, the reality is I was being pre-sold by tons and tons of valuable content and insights.
Some of you may find my case a little daunting, but most people are starting to use the internet for some form of research. Whether it’s TVs, cars, furniture, servers, cloud solutions, telecom systems or sales training. The fact of the matter is, the first place you research is ONLINE.
Why would you think your buyers aren’t doing this?
Welcome to the new world of social selling in B2B. It’s here. Are you on social to help your buyers?
Need some help getting started? Feel free to pick some time in my calendar below to get started.