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I want to talk a little bit about the cycle length of selling on social media. If you're in a business where you're used to having face-to-face sales conversations with people, you can expect social media to take it longer to make sales. This is of course a generality. It depends on you. It depends on your business. But that's what I've seen.

And this makes sense. Social media is like one face-to-face conversation broken into 100 little snippets because obviously it would be ideal if I could sit down and I could talk to you for an hour and I could hear what your needs are in your business and I could tell you what I offer and we can have a discussion about if we're a good match. That's a great way to sell things, but it's not what's happening here. Instead, you might be reading my Twitter messages that are only 140 characters long. So it makes sense that maybe you're going to need to read a lot of those since we can't have a full conversation.

Social media is incredibly, outrageously effective at building know, like, and trust, but don’t be surprised if you find that it takes people longer to go from that first touch to the buy when you're marketing with social media and when you're marketing with other channels where maybe you get to see people in person. What's great about this is it does have a snowball effect the longer you communicate regularly. Something that I've seen in my business which is really cool is that sales continue to go up unrelated to website traffic.

So what I'm saying is even with the same amount of traffic as time passes I've been making more sales, and I think that's because people just need a certain amount of time to get to know me before they feel comfortable, before I've built that trust with them in order to make a sale. Everybody is different, of course. Some people are going to come to your website, buy something right away. That's cool. But as you do this regularly, as different people come in at different points, the longer you do this, the more and more people you have that trust you and the easier you make it for yourself to continue to make sales. It's a really cool snowball effect.

So I want to talk next about how to approach new prospects because we've been talking about people who come to you and how to convert them to buyers. But what about when you have people that you want to go to. It's very similar. You're still going to use these three steps. So when I say approach prospects I mean maybe there's one really big account that you want to get or maybe there's a magazine that you want to be featured in or there is an affiliate partner that would be really great for you.

So you're basically going through the same process of attracting them, engaging them, and then moving them. Maybe it won't be a sale but moving them to that more personal relationship to that agreement, whatever it is that you want for them. What you can do is use social media to begin that familiarity. So message them with Twitter. Add them on Twitter. Add them on Facebook and give them a little message telling them who you are.

Basically, just appear in their world so that they start to see who you are so that your name sounds familiar. It makes you a somewhat familiar face instead of just a total cold call. Sometimes I'll receive an email from someone and their name will sound familiar and I'll realized that I've chatted with them on Twitter before and maybe I don’t even follow them, maybe I don’t even know who they are, what their business is, but there is that feeling like, "Okay, I've talked to this person before. I kind of know what's up with that."

If a name looks familiar to me, you can bet that I'm much more likely to kind of bump them to the top of my list. You know what I mean? Because you feel like you already have some sort of relationship with this person even if the truth is maybe you're just connected with them on LinkedIn, but in some way you've seen their name before.

So use social media to start to build that familiarity. Start chatting with them on Twitter or Facebook or whatever it is, and then move to a one-on-one contact after you've built a little of rapport. It can be just a little bit of rapport. You don’t have to become their best friend. That's fine. You want to move to the one-on-one contact pretty quickly. It's just best to have some sort of familiarity there in the first place.

So I found that the best way to get results, nothing beats in-person. Once you've met someone in person, your relationship with him or her is so solid. But I know that that's not always possible. I know in my business I have contacts all over the world. I can't meet them all in person. So if you can't meet in person, phone I think is next best followed by email. Of course, this depends on people's individual preferences, but basically you need to step up and contact them one-on-one. A lot of people are not brave about doing this. They just keep chatting on Twitter and that's not going to get you towards your end goal. This is basically moving people into your funnel, right? So not just talk to them on Twitter. You're picking up the phone and you're calling them, you're introducing yourself, you're seeing how you can be a good match for each other.

What's really cool about this is that social media connections help you stay on their radar. So let's say that there's a reporter that you really want to pitch. You've established that initial rapport. You call them on the phone. You pitch your idea and it's not really a good match. They're not really interested. It doesn't work out, whatever. But you end on a good note, "So okay, great. Maybe next time," instead of just going through a list and making phone calls. In that case, you would call them and never talk to them again. Because you first met them through social media, you're going to stay connected with each other on Facebook. You're going to stay on each other's list on Twitter and have the ability to chat with each other there.

So even if that initial contact or deal or whatever it is doesn’t work out, you have a really easy way to stay on their radar and maybe get that next opportunity with them. Again, that goes whether it's a big client that you're approaching or a reporter or an affiliate or whatever it is. It's really all the same process.

Lastly, before we wrap up to take questions, I just want to spend a moment on non-buyers who make you money because these are really important people that I see ignored way too often. Many of those profitable relationships might not be direct buyers. Again, like when you're approaching someone else, the same step-by-step methodology can still apply to people who get other people to buy from you that maybe don’t necessarily buy from you themselves. Do not ignore evangelists that don’t buy from you. They're still making you money.

So this was a phenomenon that totally confused me when I first became aware of it. When I first started to get someone mention me going on Twitter, I kept finding that there were these people that would retweet everything I said and they would link to my blog posts and they would write me emails but they wouldn’t buy anything. Honestly, at first I was kind of frustrated. I'm like, "What's the deal with this people? They're always talking to me, but they won't pony up the money. Why aren’t they anything from me?" I felt frustrated.

But what I realized is that these people were still making me a lot of money. There are various reasons why they don’t buy. Maybe they just like you but they're genuinely not a good match for what you have to offer. Maybe they're just total cheapos. I mean who knows, right? But if there are people who are evangelizing you to others, they are absolutely making you money and in fact they're probably making you more money than if they were just buying themselves because instead of just making one sale, they're spreading your message to lots of people.

So don’t get frustrated with these people. Don’t push them aside. Remember that they're very, very valuable to you and you should treat them that way. Also, in general, remember to not get too tunnel vision about just one-on-one customers. Whenever you're using social media, look for people who can connect you with a bigger audience. Again, like in the last thing we're talking about, this can be media, reporters, content providers, like bloggers, promotional partners. Those can be some of the most important people to connect with on social media because instead of just buying one thing, they have an influence over your whole target audience.

So it's just the same process. You're attracting them, you're engaging them, and then instead of selling them, again you're moving them into whatever that one-on-one interaction is going to be. So for content providers who have blogs, maybe you're going to be interviewed on their blog or you're going to guest post on their blog. Maybe you're going to do a teleseminar with somebody where you create some sort of joint program together. Whatever it is, these people are very valuable to you, and when you're going through these three steps remember to use them for everybody kind of in your world who makes you money, which are not just your customers. There are really all-different types of stakeholders.

So before we wrap up, I just want to go briefly through those three steps again for converting your customers through social media. Number one is to attract the customers. Forget about the numbers. You want to go for quality over quantity. The next step is engaging your customers where you're really focusing on building that know, like, and trust so that they feel comfortable enough to spend money with you. And the last part is moving them into your sales funnel. Again, freebie has worked really well. Using social media as a channel to get people to give you their name, email address, invite people to your event, whatever it is for you, write down your sales funnel and then use social media to regularly and consciously feed people into it.

So again, I'm Mohammad Rahighi. This has been your Creating Fame Classroom Master Class about profitable relationships through social media. Thank you so much for being here. I hope you learned a lot. I actually learned a lot just putting this article together. It was one of those things that I had to really sit down and write down what is my process for doing this because like I was talking about the sale process it is something that I've done that I haven’t necessarily been aware that it was such an easy three steps. So I'm happy to report that it is a really easy three-step.

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