Sales is about building relationships with others… PERIOD! How about that for an opening sentence of a blog post found on an online marketing blog? The thing is, it’s absolutely true, even if you are an online business.
As the years go on, consumers are becoming more and more internet savvy. They aren’t afraid to search for your company name coupled with “reviews”, “complaints”, or any other modifier that might help them dig up dirt on your business before spending money with you.
Since this is the mentality of most buyers these days, it’s more important than ever to build relationships of trust with every individual who visits your website. But how do you do this if you’re an online business only? (Meaning you don’t have a brick and mortar storefront)
It all comes down to becoming a thought leader in your space as well as publishing great content and having a fantabulous drip email campaigns. It’s also critical to have a killer support staff to assist your customers post sale to ensure 100% customer or client satisfaction. We’ve seen this in the case of Zappos and many other online businesses who are growing exponentially year over year.
So let’s break these four components down and talk about each one specifically and why they are important for your business to succeed online.
Becoming a Thought Leader In Your Space
Let’s start out by defining exactly what a thought leader is. According to Wikipedia, who is the expert in all things, a thought leader is an individual or firm that is recognized as an authority in a specialized field and whose expertise is sought and often rewarded. Becoming a thought leader isn’t easy, but it’s necessary if you want to develop and maintain a thriving online business. So how do you become a thought leader? Well, there isn’t really a good answer… it just sort of happens. However, here are some things you need to start doing today to get started.
- Start blogging everywhere! Write on your company blog, write on authoritative blogs in your industry (also known as legitimate guest blogging), write on LinkedIn, Etc. When you write, you must write amazing content. It has to be better, more thought provoking, and data driven than your competition.
- Curate content and provide your own strategic insight. Nothing gets you noticed faster than sourcing other writers content and providing your own insight and angle on the topic.
- Answer questions on social media. Looking for people asking questions on Twitter, LinkedIn, Quora, and other platforms and providing solid advice will help you get noticed and will help you start building a steady a following.
- Start speaking at events. Usually, after you’ve created a voice and a following through blogging, using social media, helping others and answering their questions, you can start speaking at industry events. Depending on how large the events are will determine how many people consider you an expert in your field, so start small and work your way up to large events.
Publishing Great Content
As I’ve just discussed, this goes hand-in-hand with becoming a thought leader in your space. There are two problems for many businesses when it comes to content. First, they try to create too much content and the quality suffers. No one, I repeat no one likes to read bad content and it kills your credibility. Second, the content isn’t targeted to your prospects needs or problems they’re trying to solve. If you can nail both of these with your content, you’ll build trust quickly and close more business.
Having Fantabulous Drip Email Campaigns
Email drip campaigns, also referred to as lead nurture campaigns move prospects through the sales cycle via email strategic email communication. Believe it or not, email is one of the most powerful marketing tools you have at your disposal. When building your content, make sure to build some pieces that require a name and email address to access. Once you have this, you can start sending non-intrusive emails on a regular basis that provide additional content to “warm them up” to you and your company. Remember, the goal is to build relationships of trust.
Having a Killer Support Staff To Assist Your Customers Post Sale
Your support staff should be ready and excited about providing world class service to your customer base. This can be done by providing live chat, phone, and email support as well as support via social media. When building relationships with your customers, there can’t be too many touch points or ways to get a hold of you. Make it easy and make it effective and you’ll win the hearts and increase the lifetime value of those who keep you in business.
Now that we’ve run through each component, can you clearly see how putting the four together will create a lethal weapon for growing sales exponentially? Yes, it takes time, yes, it takes a lot of work, but doesn’t anything worth pursuing? Good luck and looking forward to hearing your thoughts on building relationships and sales.