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I’ve been seeing enormous numbers of articles about content and content creation. Many focus on successful formulas for your content. Others emphasize finding the right channel for your content. Some focus on tracking clicks or shares as a measure of “success”. And several discuss cadence and calls to action. In short, there seems to be a very intense focus on the mechanics of social media marketing. And I’m not saying any of these things are wrong.
But I’ve spent my career in sales. And for most of that time it was Marketing’s job to create a compelling message and provide us leads. And for all the effort and resources spent on content and what to do with it, I’m still hearing the same old complaint from professional sales people….no leads, or poor quality leads.
It’s time to stop and ask ourselves the question, “What’s the point of creating all this content?”
May I suggest that the one and only reason to create content should be to be helpful to those who need help. Effectively, we are trying to build relationships with people who need help, because at the end of the day WE need help from them.
Like any successful real relationship, it should not be transactional. That is (and this will make sales managers hair catch on fire) if you are seeking to build an authentic relationship it needs to be based on giving, not taking. If the relationship has been properly developed, and you are seen as a generous and valuable ally to your network, they will begin giving back to you.
This can take many forms, the most common being doing business with you. But if you have done your job well and been generous in your giving then something wonderful happens. You get recommended to other prospects by those new customers. And we all know that the most powerful influence on a buying decision is a recommendation from someone in your network.
As a salesperson in the year 2018, please take the time to learn the rules to become a good social citizen. Don’t simply drown your network with marketing content that extolls the virtues of your company and its products. This is just digital noise. Be different. Be helpful. Be generous. Valuable content comes from many places and often has little or nothing to do with your company or its products or services.
Forwarding tons of your company’s marketing pieces may get you a deal now and again. But finding and forwarding helpful, insightful materials to specific people whom you know would benefit from it will get you deals, referrals, heightened reputation, and develop your professional brand as a valuable ally in your network’s daily struggle to achieve their goals.
Content for the sake of content is a waste of time. Content that is genuinely valuable, and shared thoughtfully and surgically with those you know need it, builds relationships and credibility. Without that nothing else in your sales bag of tricks is going to matter.
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