If you’re doing influencer marketing right, you’ll have a lifetime relationship with your influential. And, like any family member or friend, relationships require consistent and attentive attention.
Likewise, if you’re selling high ticket items, especially products and services that require new contracts, new leases, refills, upgrades, or are pricey and powerful but highly commoditized, then you need to go well beyond simply selling widgets.
Every sale is an engagement ring that you’ve put on your prospect’s finger. The best salespeople in the world are wed to each and every one of their accounts. And, like marriage, you need to be on board for way longer than the honeymoon.
The best salesman I know is Michael Obraitis. We’ve been friends since Freshman year at GWU and he’s been selling ever since, from executive laptops sitting atop Grecian columns to hosting, bandwidth, networking, and telecom services to language-learning platforms. He’s become my mentor and I, his protégé.
He told me that the real money is in the long run. That most first-buys are tentative. That once trust is built and the relationship goes from initial excitement and newness, it’s all about showing up and doing what you say you’ll do. Only then does that magic happen. Only then, when lust turns to love, can your sales relationship grow through upsells, referrals, recommendations, and company-wide, federated, commitments and conversions. From a thousand seats to ten-thousand, from one site of ten-thousand seats to ten sites, to a hundred.
One might call it the network effect — or the bandwagon effect: “The bandwagon effect is a phenomenon whereby the rate of uptake of beliefs, ideas, fads and trends increases the more that they have already been adopted by others. In other words, the bandwagon effect is characterized by the probability of individual adoption increasing with respect to the proportion who have already done so.”
And that doesn’t happen by itself. It happens through engagement, persistence, connection, and trust. And, no matter how much momentum your network or bandwagon effect achieves, rationally, carefully, or irrationally through fad, it takes time, attention, friendliness, and a personal, human, touch — and a good, solid, innovative, reliable, and extensible product, of course — to keep folks in the network and on the bandwagon for months, years, and even decades.
It never comes down to price-per-seat or the discount offered by any one widget, it comes down to people, to relationships, to meeting needs, to solving problems, and to being responsive to needs and changes.
If you’re doing it right, there’s no difference between being a top salesman and a top PR man. What works in high-end sales works in high-end PR. Neither sales nor PR, especially influencer marketing, which is really influencer PR, can ever afford to be fire-and-forget.
Rather, both sales and PR are wire-guided, requiring keeping one’s eye on the target from the moment of first engagement all the way through the life of the relationship.
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Source:: Business 2 Community