Make Social Media Sell for You by Provoking Response by Jeff Molander

Jeff Molander social media postIf your experience with Facebook, blogs, Twitter and LinkedIn is like most sales pros you’re struggling to create leads and sales. Most of us are failing and here’s why. We’ve been given bad information about “what works.” So here is a new, 3-step process to make sure everything you put “out there” on social media always creates leads and sales. As it turns out netting sales is all about provoking a response to what you put out onto social media, super-charging buyers’ confidence in themselves and moving them off of social media.

The Case for Confidence

Being engaging, getting re-tweeted and telling compelling stories doesn’t cause sales. High levels of confidence in buyers and clear, compelling calls-to-action do.

The most effective, practical way to generate sales with blogs, videos, educational ebook downloads, LinkedIn and other social platforms is to give confidence to buyers in ways that increase their ability to feel emotionally grounded, intellectually stronger… fully equipped to own.

If you do this well enough prospects will ask you for the sale. But where to start?

Step 1: Solve Customers’ Problems

Right now you can start turning friends, followers and blogs into sales, leads and subscribers. Start focusing on solving customers’ challenges in ways that nurture demand for larger solutions—your product or service. Start helping potential buyers gain clarity on their challenges, fears or ambitions and then leverage that clarity in ways that create “mini-successes” in their lives.

Forget about getting re-tweeted, Liked, getting noticed or be engaging in LinkedIn Groups. Just tune those goals out for a minute.

By helping solve customers’ problems before they transact with us we:

1)     Create confidence in their lives—proof that a risk can be avoided, an experience can be had, or a goal can be achieved, on time, within budget and without making a mess of the place or getting them fired!

2)     Manufacture trust that is more than just words—it’s experiential. By providing a result in advance you hand out a sample of what success actually feels like. This helps customers want the end result (that you can deliver on) even more.

3)     Transform our product/service into a logical “next step” in a journey—rather than reduce it to an irrelevant presentation.

Step 2: Provoke Response, Design to Sell

Making the sale with social media is as easy as focusing on provoking reactions rather than positioning as a thought leader or being engaging.  Think of it this way. Everything you “put out there” on social media should be provocative enough to generate a response—beyond a Like or a share.

The goal is to converse in ways that tease—create hunger for more details about the larger solution or goal the prospect is seeking. Hunger they can act on.

For instance, I often use my YouTube channel to generate something along the lines of a “hmmm … I never thought of that” from potential clients—all with generating a response in mind. I focus on helping customers avoid unseen risks and exploit yet-to-be discovered opportunities. I show prospects that I can make what they want actually happen—in my blogs, videos, downloads, etc. by answering questions in ways that create more questions. (that I can answer!)

As I answer and guide them, my prospects’ confidence increases… as does their trust in my brand.

Let’s say you’re a residential real estate agent or commercial real estate management company like Jones Lang LaSalle, whom I profile in my book. JLL is bringing in more-and-more six and seven-figure contracts by designing YouTube videos to produce response in ways that build confidence or, sometimes, call it into question.

The key is to discover what you are seeing, right now, that most people are not (that they will benefit from knowing). Then make that insight immediately actionable and irresistible.

Maybe it’s an investment opportunity or a risk your client needs to avoid that they don’t even know they have yet. Now THAT would be provocative. This is precisely how JLL designs many of its YouTube videos. They provoke clients to respond by calling into question customers’ confidence in the market.

They design this provocation to integrate with JLL’s sales and account team’s lead management process.

Step 3: Take Action

What might you know—right now—that’s relatively unknown and revealing? Think in terms of a risk or opportunity that your target customer will react strongly to. These are the nuggets to provoke reactions with—to create leads with on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and blogs. This is how to get a meaningful, focused, purpose-driven conversation going on social media.

Start answering questions with social media—solving customers’ common, everyday problems with it. But do this in ways that make it rewarding for customers to take action, and identify themselves as leads. That’s the trick.

For example, I’ll give you an easy, free, no-hassle way to take action on the thoughts I’ve provoked in this article. Download a free copy of my book that gives more detail on what I’m describing here. Download it and I’ll show you—step-by-step—how to start doing exactly what I’m describing here and give a handful of examples.

I just gave you a way to start acting on all the questions I’ve likely created in your head—something to do with the hunger for more “how to” knowledge I just created.

You see, selling with social media demands you become a thought provoker, not just a thought leader. Make sure you are causing customers to become confident in themselves (as buyers) or calling their confidence into question—in ways they can act on that turn you into a trusted Answer Center. (that connect to your sales funnel)

When you blog or produce YouTube videos make sure to give prospects a reason why they need to think about whatever-it-is in a powerful new way. Compel them. Give prospects a reason to ask you for more (knowledge)… so they can more clearly understand what you just provoked and become confident in themselves. Then give them that knowledge in exchange for their becoming a lead.

Jeff Molander is the authority on making social media sell, adjunct faculty at Loyola University business school, author of, Off the Hook Marketing: How to Make Social Media Sell for You and a social sales training speaker. You can reach Jeff at or Photo credit: maisonbisson





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