In my last post, I focused on my clients who know what tools to use to communicate, but don’t know what to say. This post I’m going to focus on the others: those who know exactly what they want to say, but don’t know how.
There are two possible reasons for not knowing how:
- The technology confuses them, or
- They’re using the wrong words.
Let’s focus on the latter for a moment. Even the most proficient of wordsmiths can get their messages in a twist using blogs and social networks. Why? Well it’s all down to the way we interact.
Consider this scenario: you walk into a business networking meeting and introduce yourself. Do you:
- Loudly tell the first person you meet what products or services you produce, and then without waiting, move onto the second person and do the same until you’ve shouted at everyone and then you leave. OR
- Introduce yourself to the first person you meet, ask their name and what they do and see what common ground you have and wait for an opportunity to meet some of their friends or colleagues.
It’s obvious isn’t it? But why do people always assume that blogging and social networking is just about the first option and get pissed off when they’re not famous in five minutes?
Just like the world of physical networking, you need to set your expectations correctly. Sometimes potential clients will show no interest in what you have to say. At other times you may have a seemingly great interaction that peters out and goes nowhere. Sometimes it’s only after you’ve shown up at a networking meeting for the 4th time that someone recognises you and says ….”Oh yes, you’re that guy that does…… I was thinking about that just the other day….”.
So think about these hints and tips:
- Don’t aim to sell any products or services. Just aim to have a good conversation.
- Don’t hog the limelight. Shins some light on your customers (or potential customers).
- Listen to what your customers are saying. Ask questions to make sure you understand. Repeat what you think you know, just to make sure. You should be actively learning, not selling.
- After reflection, comment on what you’ve learned. Show how you’ve adapted an idea or a product specifically to solve a customer’s problem. More than often, you’re solving other customer’s problems at the same time, and it shows you’re a trustworthy partner.
Think about it. Are you more likely to get work if you’re the sort of person that asks questions, tries to solve customer problems and actually listens to what they say, or if you’re the person that just sells, sells, sells.