Guest post from Chris Johnson
Let’s get real for just a moment. Everybody knows we’re trying to sell something. Everybody knows that that’s the point of blogging for a lot of us. So let’s not pretend we’re doing anything butselling when we write blog posts. An honest starting point makes for a better outcome, don’t you think?
Oh, sure, we still put out useful information in order to make our case. But let’s be honest: we’re blogging to sell something. Ideas, legal fees, real estate commissions, whatever it is, that’s the point. Most of us blog to get customers, not to convey the exhortations of our spirit.
Good news: people who are searching google aren’t looking for a new friend. They are looking for someone competent, and hoping for a fiduciary. Is there anything more creepy–and less credible–than some salesperson that is overly familiar?
We’ve all been there, with the guy that talks in circles, glad handles us and gives us insincere compliments to wallpaper over a gap in their knowledge (or to win our confidence). We’ve gotten cold calls from strangers that ask “How we are” when they don’t know us–and can’t possibly care.
False familiarity raises our tension levels. Tell me why you called, don’t waste my time with pleasantries. It’s an insult to our intelligence when they pretend that in the 10 seconds it took me to answer the phone, we’re now lifelong friends. Most people go about blogging wrong. They are trying to make friends, get approval. Blog for sales, and results follow.
The Kumbaya Problem
The current crop of kumbaya bloggers are well intentioned. Some of the truly friendliest people in the world carry the kumbaya banner. They are different, and they have passion about things beyond money. But, by not learning the skills to sell, they are hurting the world. A lot of it is ego in disguise: good bloggers are deluded into thinking that the blog must generate leads, prequalify them, and tie them off into bows before it’s dubbed a success.
IF a blog does any one of these things, it wins. You still have to work and you have to communicate with people the way that works for them. You have to sell, otherwise people won’t get the benefit of your fabulous service. If you believe that your service is truly the best, and you don’t do all you can to share it…what will the customers do? Probably buy from someone else. That means that you’re hurting the world by not raising your level of sales skill.
Stop Blogging, Start Selling: Four Things You Can Do Now
Let’s admit we’re selling and we’ll start doing a better job of it because it challenges us to take the direct route to why people should buy from us.
Here are 4 ways to do that that you can put into action with your blog.
1.) Schedule a time to FULLY connect with commenters: I have a recurring event on my calendar, and that’s to download and peruse all of the people that have commented on my blog. I use this plugin, and I take the time to download once every six months. I send a brief, but friendly email (by hand) inviting them It’s never been poorly received, and often it does sell a website.
2.) Assume each new commenter is a sales lead. They indicated interest when they commented. You have permission. Follow up. People are longing to find the guy that has their back. Be that guy, and demonstrate your service by quality follow up. The sales process is the time where you demonstrate the kind of service that you can expect. Follow up, google them, find their number on Facebook and say hi. Prove that you’re on the ball. I also call damn near everyone that follows me on Twitter. Ask the mighty Liz Marshall if that doesn’t help connect.
3.) Put a call to action at the bottom of every blog post: Headway has a genius feature where it can include the content of any page the bottom of a blog post. When you change the content, it changes at the bottom of every post. This feature is killer because you can refresh your whole blog by changing one page!
4.) Plan in advance to elevate the relationship: Business blogging is about relationships. You need to plan to build ’em and make that an “automatic habit.” Take people from search visitors to email, email to the phone, the phone to human contact. Prove that you have their backs, that you believe that you’re the best, and they’ll do business with you.
That’s the theme of my upcoming webinar: Wal-Mart proof your business. Headway readers are welcome to come free at FlatRate Biz.
Now, a lot of people don’t need long term relationships, or to demonstrate much more than product availability. This post is for people that need a real live, long term real relationship in order to have success. An attorney is not going to get a retainer without a phone call.
Chris Johnson owns FlatRate Biz Sites, where he will build you a WordPress Website (On Headway) and give you the coaching to get customers…your way. His specialty is local small business. For details: FlatRateBiz.Com/Demo