Professional Community for Automotive Marketers, Car Dealers, OEM and Suppliers
The first step to Social Networking suicide is to use this media as a place to make the sale. Social Networking is a relationship building network and not the shopping network. A network when used as a verb is defined as: to cultivate people who can be helpful to one professionally, especially in finding employment or moving to a higher position. With this in mind, a Social Network is a place for people to cultivate business relationships, much like being a member of a professional organization like the Chamber of Commerce.
So, how does an organization transition a relationship built in Social Networking into making a sale. At some point during the relationship, you need to invite your new friend over for dinner, so to speak. I was raised by “ladies” who instilled in me the art of being a great host. So, before inviting your new friend over for dinner, there are a few hosting tasks that must be accomplished. Here a few steps for turning your website into the banquet table for your potential clients:
Set a Date
When engaging with your friends on Social Networking sites, there comes a time where the chit-chat changes to discovering they are hungry for something you can provide. Here is your opportunity to extend the invitation. Create a sense of urgency and exclusivity by inviting them to visit your website…Today!!!
When extending the invitation, send them directly to the source of information they are craving. You website homepage is for uninvited guests that stumble upon your site. Give you new friend the meat they are looking for by providing the URL to the actually page that provides the information they are seeking. Do not make a hungry soul hunt around, as they are likely to get lost and head off in another direction in search of what they desire.
Cater to Them
After the first course, they may still be hungry. Answer questions, provide additional supporting materials and give them access to you so they can ask for more. Drive them further into your website with additional direct links to FAQs or references. When they are satiated and stuffed, that is the time to ask them for the sale.
Be a Gracious Host
All great meals must come to an end. The key to great friendships is to leave the table with appreciation for their companionship and an open invitation to share another meal together. After the sale, make sure you follow up with a note of gratitude, an announcement that you are available to them at their convenience for another grand opportunity and links to web pages that demonstrate the additional services you provide.