A million years ago when I first began my career in marketing I was a sales representative for a local CBS affiliate in Santa Maria, California. The General Sales Manager paid for each of his sales associates to take a Dale Carnegie Sales Course. I was really bummed! The last thing I wanted to do was spend my nights attending a seminar for six weeks straight. This was my free time and I didn’t want anyone telling me I had to take a sales course. I realized I had no choice but to suck it up and make the best of it.
It turns out this was one of the best things I have ever done. This course taught me many great tools in life and made me a much better business owner. The theme for the course was, “A Human Relations Approach to Professional Selling.” We are all human and we all want to be special and feel safe when dealing with other human beings, especially strangers who we are meeting for the very first time.
Dale Carnegie teaches you that you need to be human to reach people. You need to speak face to face to people and open a dialog that matters to them. This is basic 101 on “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” Recently, I started thinking about how this Dale Carnegie course is relevant to social media. It is easier for people to identify with a brand when they can put a face to it. According to the International Journal of Research in Marketing, consumer-brand relationships developed on social media are best fueled by being “more human.” The first thing we learned in Carnegie’s course is a person’s name is the sweetest sound in the world. It is the most important sound in any language. So, we need to learn how to speak to individuals on a deeper level to sell them on our brand and keep them listening and engaged. The more real you can keep it on social media, the better the results. Be impeccable with your words. If you tell your audience a story or offer them a special product you must be impeccable with your words. Another important item is to make sure the product is in stock and make certain what you are offering is a true value. At CMA, we try to use humor, jokes and a little online laughter to bring out the human side of our client’s posts. But if we offer something special like tickets to our events or an offer from a store, we make certain we are impeccable with our word and we follow through with our promises.
The other tip is make sure you express a true interest in your audience, get “real” and stay sincere with your comments. If they take time to tell you something online…it is important that you also take time to acknowledge and send back a clear, friendly response. Sometimes this is difficult if customers are complaining, but as I have mentioned in my other blogs, it is better to get it out and get it over rather than letting a rumor circulate into gossip or a bad story. In the Dale Carnegie era, you had a day or two to chew on a story and develop a response strategy; in today’s world, you have less than 5 minutes, this means you need to address it quickly and kill it ASAP.
So, remember Gurus, enthusiasm sells so find your voice and stay human in your posts, don’t forget to remain sincere in your responses. Showmanship always wins in the end. And most of all don’t take yourself too seriously. Namaste.