Oh no … not another article on how important building trust is with social marketing. Please, I can’t take it anymore! I admit we hear too much hype about the importance of trust, but behind all the blather there’s a powerful new approach emerging in B-to-B services sales forces.
This is the exact system you should be using to exploit social marketing programs that tap LinkedIn, blogging, Twitter, video, etc.
This foundational method has traditional roots. It’s based on what works—amplifying concepts that have always worked. It’s just re-tweaking them for our hyper-networked, always-on world.
A Buyer’s Decision Model
Selling B-to-B services in the past looked like this. It’s a selling process:
- Lead qualification
- Objection management
- Buyer’s remorse (sometimes!)
The new buyer-focused decision model (forced upon us by the Internet) looks like this:
- Cognitive thinking
- Information gathering
- Divergent thinking
- Convergent thinking
For years now we’ve been hearing “it’s not about how we are selling, it’s about how customers go about buying.”
Well duh! Realizing this means nothing. Acting is everything. Building practical B-to-B social marketing strategies that create leads and sales is a must. That’s what this post is all about.
From Messenger to Trusted Advisor
A buying decision model is different than a selling process. Herein lies the emergence of an entirely new industry that hot new companies ranging from point-of-sale messaging firms like Corporate Visions to software-based lead generation companies like HubSpot are set to exploit.
So what’s in it for you and your brand?
In his book, “Putting the Win Back in Your Sales,” Samurai Business Group’s, Dan Kreutzer reveals this decision-making model and quickly elaborates on putting it to use.
“This model provides a framework for how buyers make decisions and, ultimately, how sales people can build trust by helping buyers make effective buying decisions,” says Kreutzer, a 25-year veteran of building winning sales organizations on an international scale.
Think about that for a minute. As social marketers, what if our job is actually less about messages and email “blasts” and more about guidance and education? In this context the buyer decision-making model comes into clear focus.
Social marketing suddenly makes more sense.
What if you could bring marketing and sales together by helping customers:
- Engage in critical thinking and situational analysis—placing less strategic emphasis on qualifying leads and coming up with killer content marketing messaging?
- Move toward or away from your services—gaining confidence in decisions they’re making thanks the trusted, needed advice we provide.
- Determine ‘best fit’ by publishing powerful (“transparent”) and overtly honest truths—helping customers evaluate all options available to them through useful decision-making tools and education.
What if “the doing of” all these things resulted in creative, effective brand messaging, better quality leads and shorter sales cycles? Well they already are for some organizations.
In weeks ahead I’ll be profiling companies and diving deeper into the subject of using this B-to-B buyer-side model to make social media sell for you.
What do you think?