Psychology Of Social Selling
Megan Flanagan Wednesday, November 21, 2018
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Everyone is always selling. It is always pretty obvious when someone is selling a product or a service to
you but how often do you not realize you are being sold to?
It is happening every moment of every day.
When you sell successfully and ethically there are 3 things you should be able to get the customer to do:
* Like you –this is your “gut” feeling when you meet someone; 1st impression
* Know you -getting to know someone thru conversation or back and forth exchange
* Trust you -Once someone trust you, they are open to being “sold” to.
QVC is a Shopping Network where I spent just over 10 years as a Planner & Buyer. They broadcast to
approximately 350 Million households in seven countries. The reason they are successful is because they
have always directed their On Air sales people to sell in a manner called “ The Back Yard Fence ”. This
phrase was coined to remind the On Air sales person to sell the product as if they were speaking to their
neighbor over the back yard fence. It is never a high pressure, scream at the top of your lungs approach
to selling. It is a simply, friendly conversation with your neighbor who you like, know, and trust.
When QVC was launched in 1986, this is the approach they took while other shopping networks went for the quick, loud sale and QVC quickly because the leader in this space. QVC also utilized the 3 E’s :
* Engage- bring you into the sales process
* Enrich- how does what they are selling affect you
* Entertain-relax, make it not so serious. Have fun, capture people’s attention
They engage their audience thru live TV and phone calls and now Social Media platforms. They entertain
by selling in a way that makes the customer “tune in”, then they enrich the customer’s life by bringing
them value. All of this was done back in the 80’s on live television.
There are “Master Sales” people out there who can close any sale, but at the end of the day if they close
a sale and the client /customer feels bad/pressured/uncomfortable with the sales process. What does
that leave you with?
A customer who is not happy with you and your sales tactics. This customer will tell people about their
bad experience and will never recommend you/your product/service to anyone.
I am currently a Social Media Manager and a Coach for Rachel Pedersen’s Social Media United. I have
the opportunity to teach the students and one of my favorite subjects to teach is about a book I recently
read a few years back called “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion ” by Dr. Robert B. Cialdini. In this
book he identify’s and discusses 6 Universal Principles of Persuasion:
* Reciprocity –you help me, I’ll help you
* Scarcity - oh no its going away
* Authority -you know what you are doing
* Consistency -you do what you say will do
* Liking - people like YOU!
* Consensus - the larger group agrees on a subject
The first Principle I always dive into with the SMU students is “Liking”. Here are just some of the
important factors regarding this principle that Dr. Cialdini identified:
* We like people who are similar to us
* We like people who pay us compliments
* We like people who cooperate with us and help us reach our goals
Take the extra step to getting your customer to “like” you can go a very long way, especially in regards
to Social Media Marketing and growing your audiences.
There is an example in Dr. Cialdini’s book about a Case Study done by the Stanford business school. A
group of business students were put into two groups. Group one was told “time equals money”, don't
waste any time, go negotiate the deal quickly, and make the sale. Group one came back with a 55%
success rate on closing their sales with full contract and agreement signed. Not bad right?
Group two was told to get to know each other first, exchange information with each other, and share
one personal thing about yourself, then try to identify a similarity that you share with each other. You
have to do all this BEFORE you talk business with your future client. Group two came back with a 90%
success rate and their signed agreements were typically worth 18% more than Group one.
The lesson we learned in this Case Study was to get to know someone first, then look for areas of
similarity and share that similarity, then genuinely compliment them before you start talking business.
This lesson resonated with me when I first started as a Social Media Manager not only in the way I
approach clients but in the way I approach growing clients’ audiences on every Social Platform. It goes
back to the first thing we spoke about:
So whether you are creating social media content, Facebook Ad Headlines and copy or Copy for your
funnels it’s always good to keep in mind the Principle’s of Persuasion and how you are going to
approach your future customer or your existing customer to get them to opt in to your offer, join your
group, or like your post.