|Image by ronploof via Flickr|
If you have a shop, you invite everyone in to your shop. To invite everyone to visit your shop, you spend huge sums of money on promotion.
- Just to know what range of products you have.
- Sometimes with the option and intention of buying.
- To buy a needed product desperately looking for it.
- To update themselves (window shopping).
- As a companion with these prospects.
Some don’t have the intention and some don’t have the money but they still come, spend more time, ask you all kinds of questions and bargain on prices and do not buy.
Now, while you would like to have more of customers who need the product and those who have the option of buying, you cannot pick and choose your customers. Some will waste their time and yours. It is part of the game.
The only way to learn how to handle each one of them is by experience. The importance of experience cannot be more stressed in these areas of business. You need to stay ahead all the time to convert the prospects, not to loose the straight forward customer and to minimize the wastage with time-wasters. Even the time-wasters can serve as ambassadors of your brand by referring others. You should sound nice to all of them and ensure that each one of them goes back with a good experience.
Sounds common knowledge? Yes, but when it comes to Social Media, people forget this. They fail to extend real world practices. Social Media is a set of online tools for online social interactions. I explained how what holds good in real-world practices holds good in Social Media also. Extension of logic is useful. So use your successful examples of real world with social media tools also.
Help customers to help you
Communicate small achievements. Communicate often. Imagine 300(just a number) small updates in a year to your prospects Vs 5 pages of achievements 6 times in a year. Small, frequent updates will help you get the top-of-the-mind-recall. Make it easy for them to share your message and refer you to others. I learnt this in my early years. Even in a job, imagine communicating daily or weekly achievements to your management Vs sitting down with a big list once-in-a-year when your appraisal is being done. The former is more likely to create an impact. Remember, Out of sight is out of mind.
Participate. Have conversations. Conversations should be with people and not at them. You may be observing everything, everyone. But in online world, how do they know that you exist, follow them and are available? Keep conversing. The biggest challenge remains that of inexperience of triggering conversations. While communicating to others, what can we check for? A lot .
Help wherever you can. Always be in the ready mode to ask “what can I do for you?”. When people benefit from your answers, they tend to reciprocate.
Have you tried online conversations with your customers? How do you find it? Feel free to buzz me if you need to know more about engaging your customers online.