Before LinkedIn connections, Snapchat filters, and Facebook pokes, you had get up and meet face to face to form and build lasting relationships. In those days, door to door salesmen knocked on front doors, salesmen went to bars to schmooze strangers, and saleswomen sold Tupperware to their neighbors and friends. Although we’d like to think we’ve come a far way since the days of selling Hoovers door to door, the same techniques hold true even in 2016. Nothing has changed; we just use different mediums.
First, let’s look at the door to door salesman. He would drag his briefcase full of samples around the neighborhood to be welcomed into strangers’ houses at any given hour of any given day. The two would then spend time getting to know each other by sitting in the living room making small talk. Though we know that today that wouldn’t fly, we must acknowledge the door hasn’t completely disappeared; it’s just changed in form to a LinkedIn connection request. This is the key that unveils a prospects network. By becoming a connection, you get to know a prospect’s likes and interests through his or her social activity, ensuring that incidental similarities are found. Without those similarities, we know it’s going to be tough to spark a conversation, and with no conversation, there is no sale.
It should be common knowledge by now, sales is about a relationship. Avon and Tupperware saleswomen are the prime example. They sold their products to their friends and family and were considered ‘smart, competent, and well liked in their community’. They leveraged their relationships to make sales and even recruit other representatives.
Today, through social media we do the same thing. By socially interacting online through likes, comments, and shares, you create a relationship. This helps increase dialogue and in turn, exponentially increases your likelihood of making a sale and keeps clients coming back for more. Let’s face it, it’s not always about the product. People buy from their friends.
Just because the sales process has changed doesn’t mean your techniques should.The same vital aspects of sales stay the same. Even though you don’t have to get knock door to door, you’re still using the same skills that successful salespeople of the past used by creating a relationship.