There is no questioning the relevance and impact of Social Media on today’s businesses. Whether you are dealing with a small Mom & Pop Shop or a Fortune 500 Company, the truth remains that Social Media is one of the most powerful tools available to the business owner. The conventional marketing strategies have become obsolete.
With mass access to the internet and multitudinous social sites; many of them with the capability of taking information viral in an exceptionally short period of time, the marketing and branding industry is being revolutionized through evolutionary progression. What this means is that based on the development of the Social Media Machine, the marketing and branding industry has been pulled into the vortex of Social Media without much choice. To move against this pull would not be wise at this point anyway.
Outside of branding and marketing programs there is so much more to be done through social media like promotions that generate revenue while still providing the exposure to build the brand awareness necessary to solidify a particular branding point.
The concern for those in the Marketing and Branding Industry is not to present the potential benefits of social media to potential clients in a way that makes the presentation nebulous. What is meant by this is that there is a tendency to oversell the technical side of the social media spectrum. There is a proclivity by those in the industry to over express their expertise by inundating potential clients with multitudinous fact that flow above their limited perspicacity of social media.
Instead of bombarding your potential client with an onslaught of information. You should take the time to develop a presentation based on your client’s specific needs and interests. Take the time to understand what is important to the client and if you are going to introduce information that is beyond their scope of interest and current focus, be sure to take the time to explain why this new information should be considered important and relevant by them. When you bombard your potential client with an abundance of information you take the risk of losing them in the flow of that information. The attention span of the average person is not that long, especially when listening to information they don’t understand.
You want to keep your points short and sharp. What is meant by sharp is making sure each point has something that will catch the client’s attention. Stay away from the dull nuances of the industry and services provided. For instance, this person does not need to know the process of back linking and other technical things that will take place during the campaign. Where you and your colleagues may enjoy talking about the intricacies of your craft, the client will probably not. Imagine if upon a routine visit to your Doctor, he/she started rambling in medical terms about the processes and procedures that would take place that day. Not fun, and more importantly, not helpful. The flip side is that you run into a technical savvy person that happily takes in all that you are saying and decides that they will take on the project on their own.
Build a picture of what you can accomplish for them without giving them too much information on how. Point them toward what will be accomplished and how that accomplishment directly benefits their business. As far as protocol and process, give them enough to let them know that you know what you are talking about and then allow them to probe for additional details if they like. This approach accomplishes at least two things: First, it allows them to feel as if they have some control over the conversation and secondly, it gives you a chance to provide them information that there specifically seeking, make their encounter with you helpful. This allows you to display your expertise in a manner that does not seem arrogant, but serves to meet the immediate need of the client to know specific information.
Spend more time building the clients confidence in your competence to carry out the task at hand. Not through discussing technical terms, but by taking the time to present yourself in a way that makes the customer comfortable with dealing with you. Again, one of the best ways to win a potential client is to listen to what they have to say. Even when the customer is talking about things that are not industry related (i.e. his 5 year old daughter) listen attentively. He/she is telling you how to present your facts to them. In essence they are revealing the things that matter. If the client mentioned their daughter, it is a good chance that the sacrifices the client is making in cultivating this business is connected to their daughter and family as a whole.
At the end of the day, business owners are people and the business is always connected to a personal passion. Whether it is a means of supporting the family or the ability to give to their favorite charity, there is something that drives them. You want to connect to what drives them.
Remember Social Media is a force that cannot be denied. The client has heard about it and it has intrigued them at some point. Present the basics and then focus on building the relationship with this person. Once you have presented the basics to your potential client, confidently ask the client if they have any questions. This will allow you an additional opportunity to provide lucid and pertinent information that the client will find helpful in making their decision. Keep in mind that at the end of the day you are selling “you” and your ability to meet or exceed the expectations of the client, in fact, you will have the ability to help set those expectations through the course of the presentation and conversation.
Technical overload has a tendency to build unreasonable expectations. When using a lot of technical jargon you can never be sure how the customer is interpreting it and if they never tell you there is no way to know what their initial expectations will be.
As the end of the day, the goal is to keep it simple and build relationships.