Relationship Selling Through On Line Communities

Social media reinforces the art of relationship selling.  

The RV market responds as well as any to relationship selling and social media is simply “relationship selling on steroids”.

I owe Mack Collier, author of the blog, The Viral Garden, for the inspiration for this post.  He provides some straight talk regarding the lack of growth to individual and company online communities.

Many dealership and RV Advertising agencies  struggle with building an online community.  I’ve discovered a number of them that have the attitude “if I build it, they will come” but that isn’t the case.  There is a lot of work involved to generate traffic to an online community.

Below are five pot holes to avoid on the road to relationship selling with online communities:

1. You are thinking of income first (and your prospective clients aren’t dumb, they can sense it.)

Many dealerships are anxious to sell.  Generating income for their dealership is first and foremost in their minds before paying their dues and earning their way with social media.

We are in a business where relationships are important.  People want to do business with people they know, like and trust. I’m a strong advocate that a dealership can build and sustain a pipeline of new business leads for their business  through social media, but it must be done the right way, with the right motive and with genuine transparency to be effective.  Be a friend first.

2. A lack of value/benefit to your audience.

Your audience will  let you know if your content  is beneficial and of value to them.

You can’t blame your audience if they don’t respond!  It’s your responsibility to figure out what is appealing and what isn’t. You have plenty of tools in social media to provide you the information just use them!

You will need to dig deeper to figure out how you can best be of value and benefit to them.   It’s not about you or your dealership it’s about them.

3. Don’t wait around and hope someone finds you

Your blog has to be well optimized for my target audience.  Search should be a distant third in generating traffic to your blog site.

First should be generating  most traffic from by repurposing your blog posts  through Twitter.

Secondly, I generate traffic with a monthly email newsletter and an opt-in strategy for sign-ups.    The point is, don’t sit around waiting to generate traffic to your blog through search.  Be proactive in reaching out into a number of online communities that target your audience.

4. Lack of appreciation for those that are helping promote you.

There are scores of people that are willing to be of help to you online but they’ll be quickly turned off if you don’t show appreciation. Your dealership’s credibility rests upon what others are saying about you.  Be sure to show your love to those who go out of their way to promote your company.  Always be willing to reciprocate.

5. You could care less about the prospective audience you are trying to reach.

Matt really hit the nail on the head when he wrote about the reason why many companies and individuals are having a problem building their online community,

“You don’t give a damn about the people you are trying to reach.”

Matt said it first and I totally agree,

 “The key to successfully building an online community is to genuinely care about the people that you want to reach.”

If all you want out of social media is to make money, then social media is not for you.  Don’t waste your time and effort.

But, if you are willing to be transparent, open, honest and caring then social media can teach your dealership how to do new business development the right way. The way we should have been doing it all along. 

Relationship Selling!


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