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A lot of people come to me asking what could be the best social media strategy. Some want to monetize their facebook page, some want more members, more likes, more more blah blah… and I ask them one simple question. “As a customer, what is social media to you?”

Folks let me tell you that no body in this world is a social media expert. People claim to be one… but frankly none has been able to crack it quite like other mass mediums of marketing. But then it is widely used today. If you want to be in the race today, social media is the way to go, facebook being the largest of them. So what do you do? Here are three simple questions and their right answers you should know before going ahead.

1) Is my target market on facebook?

Depends on who you are and what you are selling. For every business who sells directly to the customers or makes some thing that keeps the end user interested in original producer, facebook community is important. For example, if you are an ecommerce player like flipkart or snapdeal, facebook plays an important role in customer engagement. Beware, I’m saying customer engagement and not acquisition. If you are some one like an AMD or Castrol, facebook plays very important role in terms of visibility and source of information. Because customers are not likely to go to your website every day for an update. But they visit facebook every day. So it is easy to keep them updated with what best you have.

2) What should be my strategy for targeting facebook users who are my potential customers?

Even before we answer this question, let us understand why people log on to sites like facebook. If you introspect your own behavior on facebook, you will realise that people log on for letting the world know what they are doing and knowing more about what their world is doing. Some are here for friends, some for games, some for chats… how many are here for business? Possibly only people like you. So if most of them are here to connect with the like minded, share and receive… why should you be selling on facebook? Instead connect with them like a friend. Share interesting updates that connect your business with their liking. For ex., if you are a Honda, update your users about the latest concluded racing where Honda engines were used. Tell them about the new research finding your facility has come out with. May be share safe driving tips, go on and shoot interesting pictures or videos of your customers driving Honda vehicles and share them. Community likes to read more about them or people like them. Give it to them and they will come back to you.

3) Should I use facebook apps or games in order to keep the users engaged?

Yes and no. Yes if it is connected to your business in any way. No because you will end up distracting them. PLease remember, there are umpteen free apps and games available on facebook for the users to play. There are guys for whom it is daily bread to make facebook apps. So however good your app might be, after some time users will get bored of it. Please remember that facebook is a source of connect between you and your customers. The apps should help you and the user to know about each other more. It should not, in any manner what so ever, distract user from the core subject… your product/service.

I hope my post was helpful. Before signing off, I’d like to give you a million dollar advise- “Pushing sales on any social network is THE mistake you don’t want to commit” 🙂

Hi there! How are you doing? Great, I’m sure. So are you in sales and make your living by selling directly to the customers? It could be any thing right from an insurance to a bottle of perfume to a car… do you sell to the customers/consumers? Then you must read this post. It gives you 5 simple ideas/rules to follow while selling direct. Rules because if you like it, I’m sure you will follow it and ideas because every point makes you think. So ready to listen?

Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year

Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you are reading this sentence and are willing to read more, I’m convinced that I have passed my first test. In sales, especially direct sales, the first 30 seconds play a vital part. Scripts for make or break f a deal are generally written in the first 30 seconds itself. The attention span of customers generally oscillates that between a 70 year old and a 7 year old. The former gives you a feeling that he is listening every thing and the later makes you think he is not interested in a word. Both are equally dangerous. So here are 5 tips that could potentially help you to close a sales call. Yes Five. Although the heading says 6 tips, the sixth one is hidden. If you read carefully, you will find it 🙂

  1. Look like a miss world: You need not be an Aishwarya or Brad Pitt look alike. But your demeanor has to be impeccable. No one understands your body better than you do. So dress appropriately. Be tidy and inculcate a very welcoming body language in you. If fact it is advised to read more about the body language fundas on how to sit/stand, how to shake hands etc.
  2. Introduce impeccably: I have said first 30 seconds are crucial. But dont make a mistake of telling every thing in those 30 seconds itself. It will be a hara kiri. The first 30 seconds are about you. Chances are, they already know what you are trying to sell and hold a prejudice about the product. It could be good or bad. But you dont know it yet. The fact that they have decided to give you the first 30 seconds of hearing proves that whatever be their opinion about the product, they are willing to know it from you. So you start with a warm hello and a broad smile. Thank them for their time. Proudly tell them your name and say that you represent the XYZ brand’s sales team. There is no better way than to take pride in the product you are selling. Now end the intro with a simple unoffensive question about the need your product satisfies. The first 30 seconds is not about selling. It is about making the customer comfortable so that he starts interacting with you for the next 5 minutes. Ex.: Say you are an insurance agent and were given an appointment by some guy. When you meet him, this is how you start- “Hello Sir, thank you very much for your time. I hope it was not a trouble to pull time out of your busy schedule? Indeed sir… life insurance is important. My name is Mayur Pathak and I represent XXX Insurance. Our company has designed some really wonderful products perfect for the needs of working professionals. I’ll be happy to tell you more. Just wanted to understand sir, do you see insurance as a security for your family or as an investment?”
  3. Communicative engagement: The question in the above example has forced the customer to think. Few seconds ago, he was prepared to listen to your product information. Assuming he was not from the same industry, chances are that he might have asked you to leave your brochure and call back after 5minutes of your lecture. But now that you have asked him a question, you engage him in a dialogue. Ask him some more simple questions related to the product without crossing the line. No point in asking where his daughter studies or if his was a love marriage unless it is important to the product. Once 2-3 questions are answered, you will understand important things about his buying behavior.  More than that, you will be able to make out if he is in need of your product or not. This makes it easy to decide how detailed your product description should be.
  4. Comparison is healthy: It is very important to be knowledgeable about your product. Because if the customer is interested, he is going to compare the features and price with your rivals. You must also be aware of what your competitors products are good or bad at. But never point what your competitors do, good or bad. If your product is the best, chances are the customer will already know it. If it is not, just highlight what is better and how it is good for the customer. Some times they dont need to buy the best product. They need what suits them. And as a sales guy, it is your responsibility to make them understand that your product is best for them.
  5. Be available: Most customers are not able to decide immediately. So dont force them. Your closing remarks should be aiding them to decide. Dont give them any deadlines to respond. Most people dont like to be pressurized. Tell them, you believe this product is meant for them. Give your direct contact number. Say should they need to talk you you or have any queries or concerns, they can contact you any time.  Your send off should give them a happy feeling.

If you follow this, I’m sure you will get a good news next time you call. Should you need any thing else, just comment here and I’ll be happy to clarify 🙂

A meaningful life

“Maut wo ho jiska zamana kare afsos. Yun to sabhi yahan aate hai… marne ke liye”

This is a very old quote I had read on a friend’s mobile. It means death should be such that the world mourns your demise. People come here to die anyway… So is your life meaningful?

Life for most is a never ending constant struggle for survival. Right from hoping to get a promotion in the office to hoping kids obey you at home, it is full of expectations. We think almost every one we know is better off than us. And they think similar about us. Its about buying a car first, then a bigger car, a house, another house, girlfriend? wife? another one… ahem! may be not 🙂

Try talking to your parents or grand parents, if they are alive. If you ask them, most will say they are unhappy with the way they spent their life. I wanted to do this or become that will be the typical answers. But if you observe them carefully, they might have achieved most of their goals that they might have set for themselves years ago. They might have had a fairly successful life. They might have got opportunities that some of the others didnt. Then why this Kolaveri Di? 😛

The essence of a meaningful life lies in two words, gratefulness and satisfaction. Every thing that we do, we have to show some kind of satisfaction towards it. Because it is important to understand that the result of the first effort is the benchmark for the second try. So we need to be happy about the first one. Please understand that our life is and always will be a quest for some thing. There is no full stop unless we decide to put it. So for all the milestones we set, it is important we feel grateful and satisfied about every step climbed.

Be content and happy! If you are happy, the world around you is happy. There is no better way to spend a meaningful life than being in the company of happy people.

Hello world!

A warm hello to the world from ConsultMAX. This is the official blog for my company. From now on, you will be reading occasional posts here on new trends in sales, technology and consulting. Here you can contribute by stating your problems and I’ll try best to come up with a solution. You can have a look at my website at your leisure.

I will also be updating my progress with the virtual office from time to time.