Building Your Online Community

Relationship sales is more about relationship building, and less about sales. A business community isn’t much different from your local neighborhood community. There’s folks to the left, right, front and back, all with their noses in your business trying to figure out what you got going on. They wave and say “Hi” but never anything more. It’s just like your Facebook followers scrolling through their feed and skimming right past your Monday GIF and quote.

You see, your online community is no different, they’re all connected to you, following your posts, Gif’s and Monday motivational quotes, but never truly interacting with you. However, I believe that after a few tweaks in your approach, all that is about to change.

Like I said before, your online business community is no different from your real community, because much like your next-door neighbors, neither of you choose to have true and meaningful interaction. Therefore, we must get out of our comfort zone and take a leap of faith. We gotta make the first move and initiate contact with conversations that take us beyond the surface level of driveway talk.

I believe, that if we start publishing blogs and videos that go beyond products, features and benefits, then, and only then, can we breakthrough the barriers of “No, I’m okay, I’m just looking.” If we truly engage our community with thought-provoking conversation, then our trust barometer will begin to rise at a rapid pace, all because our neighbors will begin to value our word and expertise.

Here’s what John C. Maxwell, author of “How Successful People Think” says this about community, “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” He hit the nail on the head, don’t you think?

It’s no secret. Social selling, business to business or business to customer sales transactions are all based on some level of trust. In some cases, the level of trust may be low, and in others it may be high. None the less, as a customer is preparing to make a purchase, whether that is online or in-store, there is indeed a certain level of trust involved with that purchase. That is why it is so important to establish ourselves as the go-to person for all things regarding our product or service.

If we offer our thoughts and expertise on a subject without any agenda, and the advice that we provided lead to a better buying decision for that client, then in that person’s mind, our stock just rose and now we moved up a tier. It’s not about giving stuff away, or offering free advice, but simply being a good neighbor and lending a hand when needed.

Here are 3 questions that’ll get the conversation started:

  • What do you like or don’t like about social media?
  • Who is the most influential person in your life? Why?
  • If you could change something in your life or community, what would you change?

These questions will most definitely get the conversation going, but it’s up to you to moderate and keep it going. Once the people in your community see that you’re willing to go beyond features and benefits, then, and only then, will you begin to build a strong, healthy and engaged community.

Thanks for reading, God bless!

Jesus Gonzales – Marketing Consultant