Sometimes it pays to do what is “out”.
Social selling has become synonymous with technology. Many definitions make it all about using social media to sell.
But I think social selling is about being social and actual human beings do more than just hang out on social media platforms.
Some other productive people have learned that being tethered to your email is good way to get nothing done other than respond to email.
Due to some people figuring this out the success rates of getting through to people via email and social media platforms seems to be dropping every year. Mass email these days seems to mostly go into prospects’ spam filters (0.01% response rates etc.)
One tactical idea is to go “retro”…Pick up a pen!
The story goes that the “world’s greatest salesman”, Joe Girard, (according to the Guinness Book of World Records) used to write handwritten notes to his clients every day. He cranked out cards by hand to keep in touch with all this contacts. People felt he cared. They liked him and they bought his used cars.
These days a handwritten note, card or (god forbid!) letter will stand out like a sore thumb. In this case “sore thumbs” are a great thing. Who gets a handwritten anything anymore? My mailbox at home seems to be receiving less printed matter every year at the same time my email box (and spam filters) fill up with more and more email and who knows what is flashing by on social media.
It’s very hard now not to open something with actual human writing on the envelope. And if the return address is actually from someone you know, then it’s pretty much 100% certain that you will open that baby up before you even get down your driveway.
Business is personal
As with everything I tend to write about here, the key to these handwritten notes or letters is that they feel personal.
Any printed material is still better than email as there is less of it (probably because many of us think email is free whereas you actually have to pay for a stamp to send a letter). But notes and letters that feel personal and “real” when you receive them are the ones that will have much higher success rates.
In practice this means actually owning a pen, some notecards, envelopes and stamps. Then the key skill is being able to write (not type).
The padded envelope
If it’s a special occasion or you really want to make an impact, consider sending a little gift.
This is more the exception than the rule but when it makes sense, a gift from a friend is always wonderful (again I’m assuming you have made the effort to get to know someone here and you’re not sending golf clubs to strangers.) If you know this person, these gifts do not need to be expensive to make a big impact. It really is the thought that counts.
If you really want to stand out in your efforts to open up new relationships and stay-in-touch with your contacts, consider mixing up the media. Don’t use email all the time. Don’t just post on people’s Facebook page for their birthday. Pull out a pen, it’s mightier than a sword, you know.