Sarah has started to get comments on her blog posts and replies to her emails. This is really encouraging and she prepares new material with renewed vigour. But she wants to know what more she can do to improve communication and so nurture her keener followers.
The biggest challenge for Sarah is to work out where the people who comment on blog posts and reply to emails are in her sales funnel. If she attempts a sale too soon, it could result in a breakdown of trust. Too late and someone else might get the sale.
Prospects may be in a funnel for some time before they are ready to buy. When they become customers, they pass through a turning point where they become ready to buy. Make an offer before the moment passes or they may find someone else.
But how do you detect that moment? If you meet someone face to face you might pick up visual cues. Online this is harder. Here are few things to look out for:
- They ask you for a meeting. This is usually a good sign.
- Increased frequency of comments may be a sign but sometimes people are just interested.
- They are willing to recommend you to friends.
- Be aware of what they say, encourage deeper sharing and judge when it is time to meet and discuss next steps.
This last one shows how important it is to pay attention.
One reason people don’t comment is so much of what we put online disappears into the ether. So, make sure you acknowledge all well-intentioned comments you receive. At least, thank them for their comment.
Go one step forward and add value to their comment. Say so if they got you thinking and then show them what you thought! This might result in a conversation. Others see you reply and that your replies are worth reading.
And replies are usually short and so easy to read on screen.
It is worth reading my ancient posts about conversations, especially the generative conversation. These conversations take into account the full context of the conversation and both parties are open to the possibility of discovering something new, neither had thought of before.
Can you hold this type of conversation in a short sequence of comments? Maybe but this might be the moment to suggest a face to face meeting.
Sales and Coaching Conversations
Coaching conversations aim to be generative. Often the coach is no expert on the topic at hand. They aim to assist their customer’s thinking. It is often an advantage not to be too knowledgeable. You can ask stupid questions without appearing stupid and without being a threat.
Does the same apply to sales conversations? Maybe but remember, if you aim to make a sale, you must bring the conversation to the point of sale. Between what has gone before and the promise of what is to come you build sufficient trust to make the sale possible.
This is the aim of the bulk of online work, increasing trust. So, getting your hub working properly is essential. So, next time we look at how to increase web traffic.