For those using LinkedIn or other social networks to sell, create a relationship first
Ever since COVID-19 has gripped the world, I’ve been getting more InMails (Linkedin) and emails wanting to connect with me. This is usually fine as I am always happy to get in touch with people, but lately, something frustrating has been occurring.
People are trying desperately to try to sell me something instead of trying to understand my current needs or at least have a conversation with me.
Here’s how the conversation usually goes:
Hey Richard, we have a mutual connection so let’s connect”
One to two days later …
“Hey Richard, “come buy what I am selling”.
This interaction sums up my LinkedIn requests from last week. On top of cold email offers both to my work inbox and personal, I am getting upwards of 50+ sale pitches a week.
Here is a collage of some that I got just last week!
Unfortunately, I ignore most of these messages for a reason.
You don’t know me
Yes, it’s sad to hear the reality but you proclaiming that you know the company I work at does not mean I will talk to you.
In a time where most companies are struggling to make ends meet, the last thing I want to hear is someone trying to sell me their latest service.
I am baffled that 90% of these pitches never try to get to know me first or what current pain points I am having.
So the question goes, how should you approach this?
Creating a relationship is long-lasting
Some of the best services and agencies I have worked with have a long mutual working relationship with me. I have brought them in countless times to help, and in return, I receive the exact level of compassion and support I need.
When times are tough, you turn to the ones you trust the most, and that is applicable in the workplace too.
Instead, get to know your customers first
The best advice to anyone trying to sell or market their services is to ask this question to yourself, do you really know them?
Did they approach you to ask for a need, or did they come onto your website showing some kind of interest?
If the answer is no, then you should be starting at basics.
By understanding who they are and simply having a conversation, not only is it a breath of fresh air, but it shows that you’re much more compassionate in a time of uncertainty.
Here are the first few things you should do:
Look to provide value
Make sure you gain credibility by giving proper advice that helps enhance their lives. This could mean anything from suggesting good content to simply getting to know them initially.
Learn about their current situation and give advice
Understanding the customer’s position has never been so important. In a time where you should be supporting them first before trying to sell anything, you need to think of it as a win-win solution.
By helping them now and providing advice, you’re looking for the best possible outcome not only for now but for the future.
This is especially important moving forward from the pandemic, as customers will remember the ones that cared versus the sales and marketers that simply spammed them sales pitches.
These are extraordinary times, and supporting your customers is one of the most important things you can do right now.
This means not trying to oversell but instead look to provide value back to them.
As a side note, hopefully, you’re not bombarded by COVID-19 sales pitches as well.