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How To Sell ANYTHING #Forbes8Summit

Shama Hyder:

Let’s talk about digital selling close before you convince. 64% of buyers have already decided on which company they’re going to do business with before they ever speak to a sales rep. Their mind is pretty much made up. Hello everyone, this is Shama Hyder and you are watching the Forbes8 E-Summit. Thank you so much for being here. These are crucial times that we’re living in. There might be a lot of uncertainty right now for many of you, and please know that you are not alone.

Shama Hyder:

A lot of entrepreneurs are facing similar challenges. We’re all in this together. And really our hope for this summit is for you to be able to walk away, having a little more resilience within and with the tools and tactics shared with you here, the strategy shared with you here, that you can take back to your businesses and that you can ride out this wave and come out on the other side a lot stronger for it. So, let’s dive right into it.

Shama Hyder:

Let’s talk about digital selling close before you convince. And what do I mean by that? So here’s the deal, 64% of buyers have already decided on which company they’re going to do business with before they ever speak to a sales rep, that’s right. 64% of your buyers have already decided, your prospects have already decided exactly who they’re going to be working with. Before they even reach out, their mind is pretty much made up.

Shama Hyder:

And so that might be surprising to many of you. But if you really think about it, think about when you make your own purchases, whether they’re B to B or B to C, chances are you’ve had exposure to the company. Maybe a colleague told you about them. If you’ve done your own Google searches, something already has created an impression in your mind. And you’re much more likely to do what’s considered confirmation bias or go out there and find aha, I was right. This is the good company for me. I wasn’t sure about these guys and everything that they do is just proving that instinct that I have.

Shama Hyder:

So really, if you were in business today, your job is to get them to close before you even convince them, before they’ve even actually landed on your website, done business with you. And of course, in this very digital age today where things are fairly remote, this is stuff we have to think about even more. So, I want to share with you three strategies that I think can make a big difference when it comes to how you do business and really your digital sales.

Shama Hyder:

The first thing I want to talk to you about is the importance of customer focus. Now, bear with me. When I see customer focus, you may be thinking, oh, put your customers first. While, that is important and it’s never been more important than right now, there’s actually a bigger definition I want to get you thinking about. And here’s this, the idea of customer focus, isn’t so much what your customers are doing or how you can serve them better. While these are important considerations, the way I’m framing customer focus is to think about this, the idea that your customer’s doing business with you allows them to say something about their brand, right?

Shama Hyder:

So when I was in graduate school, I did my thesis on Twitter. That’s right, Twitter, the social network, which has 365 million users today. Well, it had 2000 when I did my thesis, and I really wanted to look at why you people use social media. I’m sure you might’ve wondered that. Well, when I did my research and I really dug in, I discovered something. I found that people use social media, not to connect with others or to have a sense of community, while that’s important, it’s secondary. The primary reason people use social media is to showcase their own identity.

Shama Hyder:

Think about that, to showcase their own identity. So as you’re really thinking about your brand right now, and I hope you are, because this is a great time to step back and think about what are you putting out into the marketplace. What is your offering? As you think about that, I want you to start going from the question of what does our brand say about us to what does doing business with us, allow our customers to say about themselves, right?

Shama Hyder:

Here’s the other thing I want you to think about. In a B to C transaction, a customer’s really trying to avoid regret. They don’t want to buy something and look at it tomorrow and say, oh man, wish I hadn’t gotten that. In B to B sales, what they’re trying to avoid is blame, right? If I get this and my boss finds out and it didn’t work, am I going to get fired? That’s a bigger question. So B to C and B to B sales look slightly different when it comes to that. So really important to understand what are customers buying from you, are the buying a lack of regret, are the buying a lack of blame? So that’s the first category.

Shama Hyder:

And then you get deeper into it, especially in these very crucial and critical times, it’s important to understand your customer better than ever before. This is where trust and preference are going to play an absolutely key role in how you do business and who buys from you, right? Because in great times, trust is nice, preference is of course preferred, but in crucial times, in times where economic conditions get particularly challenging, the trust and preference factor matters more than ever before.

Shama Hyder:

Think about even the environment right now, a lot of people are pivoting from working with certain companies or trusting certain institutions because they feel like, I don’t know if they’re going to be able to weather the storm and perhaps rightly so. Meanwhile, they’re looking to companies where they feel they can really put their trust and have that preferred outlet, right? That preferred choice. So customer focus becomes very important when you look at digital sales.

Shama Hyder:

I also want you to think about ETC, education, transparency, and choices. You can’t outbeat your competitors the usual ways, but you can out educate your competitors. There are no trade secrets anymore. It’s very important that you are, two, transparent with your customers about what’s happening. If what’s happening today is affecting you, I urge you to be transparent about it, share. You will be perceived as strong when you come out the other side. Very important to maintain transparency in how you’re doing business, how you’re coping with this, honestly, crisis for many of us, right?

Shama Hyder:

And then C, choices. Give your prospects choices. When you’re in sales and any good sales person will tell you this, when you send those emails out and they’re not responding, what do you do? You pick up the phone, right? You have lots of choices in how you connect with your prospects. This is not any different than that. You want to make sure that you’re giving your prospects plenty of choices to be able to connect with you. Education, transparency, choices and that is all of what falls under the customer focus umbrella. This is how you get the focus from on your company and where you’re offering to what your customers absolutely need.

Shama Hyder:

The second strategy I have for you is focus in on your analytics. That’s right, agility through analytics. If you’ve been someone who’s ignored numbers, or not really into the data thing, well, here’s your chance to turn that around. Very important that you are keeping a close eye on your analytics. Did you know that 99% of the content your company creates actually is wasted? That’s right? Only less than 1% of content gets the majority of views online. And if you’re in a niche, it doesn’t matter, you’re know not looking for quantity, right? But you are looking for quality. So, it still matters because you want to make sure that your content is getting in front of the right people at the right time.

Shama Hyder:

So analytics become more important than ever before. Of course, you don’t have to go out and buy expensive analytics software. Google analytics does a great job. If you haven’t taken a look at your Google analytics in awhile, now’s a great chance to do that. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, all offer an inherent analytics that you can take a look at that help you dive in and better understand what is being offered, where your traffic is coming from, how well are they converting? This is a great time to optimize your conversions, to make sure your messaging is very much on point, that your sales is aligned with marketing. If there was ever a time to do it, it is absolutely now.

Shama Hyder:

The third strategy I want to share with you is a little meta, but it’s this, it’s video. For the foreseeable future and for really a long time to come, video is going to loom large. Find a way to utilize video to be able to connect with your customers, your clients for referrals, and to close those prospects. Absolutely crucial. And there’s some great, by the way, a lot of great video recording software right now, they are offering it to entrepreneurs at discounted rates, they’re giving away longer trial periods. So if you’ve ever thought about trying out video, this is your chance.

Shama Hyder:

In fact, did you know that 66% of people who watch a video end up buying something? That’s way more than any other type of advertising. And while the majority of people will finish watching up to a 30 minute commercial video clip, only 24% will finish reading an article. Think about this. Have you ever watched an infomercial? Let’s face it. We all have, right? And the crazy thing is, we know they’re trying to sell us something. It is an ad, they tell you that, it’s an infomercial. Yet there you are completely transfixed until someone walks into the room, and says, “What are you watching?” And you say, “I don’t know, but these knives though, right?” Or [inaudible 00:09:54] really does get that clean.

Shama Hyder:

Happens all the time. This is the power of video and I hope you’re utilizing it. LinkedIn, by the way, is a great platform. If you are in the B2B world, you should absolutely be leveraging videos on LinkedIn to connect with your prospects. Remember education, transparency, choices, this is how you win the digital sales game because your prospects are honestly closed before they ever even get to you, before they come to your site. Before they come out and want to talk to you. These are very, very important things to keep in mind.

Shama Hyder:

Now, I know I said I’d share three strategies, but let’s share a bonus strategy. I want to give you this bonus strategy because right now is the perfect time to actually implement this, to see an uptake in your sales, in your leads, in traffic. I hope that as soon as this summit is finished, you will go out there and you will put this into motion because it really is the most low hanging fruit right now when it comes to digital sales. And that is, curation. That’s right, curation.

Shama Hyder:

Well, a lot of people focus on creating content and there’s definitely a place for that, like video that we talked about, curation is often ignored part of the equation, but it can be just as powerful if not more. I’ll give you a great example, think of Pinterest. If you really think about Pinterest, it’s a social networking site, but more than that, it’s really just a filter, isn’t it? For people to be able to share content.

Shama Hyder:

So you’re interested in recipes, let’s say of healthy items to cook for dinner. Well, there’s a Pinterest board for that. You’re interested in exploring how to redo your bathroom, there’s a Pinterest board for that. You’re just looking for some great motivational quotes, well, there’s a Pinterest board for that. There’s no reason you can’t implement the Pinterest board strategy in your business. In fact, I highly recommend it.

Shama Hyder:

So, to give you a couple of examples. We’re working with a client in the education space right now, and they’ve created a great resource section on their site that’s curating all the resources, their customers, their clients, which happen to be school districts and educators can use during the COVID-19 crisis. So, they have free tools listed, they have articles listed, they have trackers on there. They’re really creating this content hub to educate and help their customers. This is what I would love to see you do. What can you really create and offer your customers? What can you curate that would be of interest right now?

Shama Hyder:

Remember, this is the time guys to not play the short game in sales, because we all know that, there’s a short game in sales and then there’s a long game. If there was ever a time to play the long game in sales, it’s absolutely now. Remember, the majority of your customers who buy from you, your prospects, they’ve already decided whether they’re going to do business with you or not before the ever come to your website. Your job is to close first and convince later. And the way you close first is through the strategies that I’ve shared with you. I promise if you implement them, you’ll see a difference.

Shama Hyder:

Got questions, have comments? Send me a message on Twitter, use the #FORBES8SUMMIt and I’ll be happy to answer any questions that you have. So let’s go over those strategies real quick, shall we? Number one, customer focus, quite crucial. Don’t ask what does our brand say about us, ask, what is doing business with us, especially right now, allow our customers to say about themselves. Do they feel safer? Do they feel like they’re supporting community in some way? Do they feel like they’re giving back? Do they feel good about doing business with us? What does it allow them to say about themselves.

Shama Hyder:

Two, analytics. Dig in, this is a time for data. Look at where your traffic is coming from. Look at how you’re converting. If you’re not converting as well as you should, well, this is the time to up those conversions because every bit of traffic that you get becomes a lot more valuable, important thing to remember. The third strategy we discussed, video. I know quite meta of me, but it’s extremely powerful.

Shama Hyder:

If you’re in B2B, I hope you’re also exploring LinkedIn videos, live streaming, greatly to connect with your audience, to connect with those prospects and close before you convince. It’s a great strategy. And if you haven’t already, I hope this is the time where you’re integrating that. And don’t forget the bonus strategy of content curation. If you haven’t already curated a great resource section on your site that really speaks to your customers, that gives them the tools and strategies and tactics they need right now, you’re missing a gigantic opportunity.

Shama Hyder:

So I hope that these strategies have been useful for you. Please send your questions. You can tweet all the speakers here, including myself, happy to answer your questions, #FORBES8SUMMIT.

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