Friday, 28 February 2014

Stop Selling and Start Engaging!

Linkedin groups are an amazing tool that so few people know how to harness. I belong to many of them, and I even started a group on Linkedin called, The Power of Learning. This group was meant to give subject matter experts the opportunity to teach people what they know and to also provide eager learners with a place they can go to improve an inspire business performance. Unfortunately, my group, like so many on Linkedin, has become, through my own neglect, a sales playground.

Consultants and subject matter experts everywhere, hear this! You will never sell anything in a room of sellers because, nobody is listening and nobody intends to buy! When people want to buy and sell quickly, they go to e-bay or Kijiji. They don’t go to Linkedin groups. That is not what they are for.

Linkedin groups remind me of the board of trade meetings I used to go to early in my business years. I stopped wasting my time and money there because I realized they were full of small time vendors who worked out of their bedrooms; all of whom were only selling and never buying. They weren’t interested in helping anyone but themselves. That’s because nobody is going to help someone they know nothing about if it means risking their own credibility.

So how can you build relationships on Linkedin and in business networking groups? I think it only happens when you take the time to engage in discussions about matters that are relevant to your actual customers. People who want to learn from you will seek you out. They will never visit your website, however, if it is 18 feet long and filled with garbage intended to snare people into buying something. Take it from me, I am a pretty good sales person, and I have never met anyone who wanted to be sold something. People want help, they want information, honesty and integrity. They don’t want to be sold anything, and they definitely don’t want to be tricked into buying something. If you underestimate your customer’s intelligence, you will not sell a thing. Don’t be smarmy in your approach to acquiring clients or customers.

Your desire to connect with people in an honest way will allow you to understand your market, and you will never sell anything to a market you don’t understand. Take the time to educate your customers and prospects. Be flexible and seek to understand your market. Be the best you can be and the most you can be for people who need your products and services. That’s how you will build your brand and gain a solid reputation as a quality service provider.



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