Have you heard me say: “move onto their turf”?
Moving onto their turf is about stepping into the world of people you meet and nurturing a relationship. Social media is particularly good for this. People share so much of their character and lives on social media; it gives us the perfect opportunity to connect – in every sense of the word – outside of face-to-face networking.
But HOW do you do this? How do you ‘move onto their turf’?
Let’s talk about how NOT to do it first.
If, having just met someone and spent maybe 10 minutes in their company, you send them a tweet asking them to buy your product or service, you are effectively behaving like a cold-caller. How do you respond to cold-callers?
With a very loud NO – which translates into an ‘unfollow’ or ‘silenced’ feed on social media platforms.
Why? Because they know nothing of your situation, preferences, daily demands or priorities. And how dare they contact you out of nowhere!
Caveat: there are products and services which, in the right situation, clinch a sale in the blink of an eye. But for most of us, the sell is a long-term commitment to nurturing relationships.
Your ten minute chat with someone puts you only ten minutes ahead of the cold-caller. It may have been a good chat but unless you’re asking the right questions and getting to know that person, you’re not on their turf and you need to be.
6 Spectacular Ways to Move onto Their Turf Using Social Media
#1: Find and follow
If you really want to connect, think about not just what they communicate, but how they communicate.
Take a look at their presence on the major social platforms. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ are the most popular. Link and connect everywhere you can, dropping a friendly hello here and there. Be mindful of what they use for personal and business use and follow accordingly. Some people are distinctly personal about Facebook and less so about Twitter.
#2: Take a look at what they’re talking about
You’ll discover much about their passions and pastimes online. I’m not suggesting you stalk them – absolutely not! But these topics are indicators of needs and desires. People often share pain points online. It is very common to see a frustration vented on social media. It could be that you have the remedy for that frustration.
#3: Be useful
Give them a #FF or a retweet. Share their latest blog post. Join the local hashtag hour and promote their services. Taking this offline, can you recommend them to people who have a genuine need for their services? Can you connect them to people who might be able to help where you cannot? Being useful in this way promotes a relationship based on understanding and value.
#4: Ask questions
If you’re not on a person’s turf, you probably won’t understand the language they speak, the problems they have, how much they are able to invest. If you really want to get onto their turf, ask them questions – open questions, polite questions, cheeky questions – whichever questions get you closer to knowing them, and them closer to trusting you . Presume nothing. Ask everything
#5: Seek out mutual ground
This is not always necessary but sometimes common ground that takes your relationship beyond business is a great catalyst for…well, business. It might be your kids, or a sport. Perhaps it’s a location or dream destination. It’s doesn’t have to be personal. Maybe it’s in the way you do business or your commercial beliefs and values. This common ground moves you authentically closer to their turf.
Online, this ground lies in the teams you follow or the business gurus you worship. Humour can be a great connector both on and offline.
#6: Understand the demands of their day
School run? Don’t call at 3pm. Long commute? Call when they’re travelling. Night Owl? A 7am email might not be a good idea. Moving onto their turf is about understanding what is most convenient to your acquaintance.
But does social media change these rules? A Sunday afternoon tweet about a football team you both support is no longer out of the question. And wow, are you on their turf now! A warning about a traffic jam on a road you both frequent…that’s useful. Do you think social media changes the rules of accepted time to communicate? Does it take you beyond business and turn you into a social media ‘friend’? Is an 11pm tweet out of the question?
What do you think? Do you think these ideas go too far? Is it practical to take on all of these ideas to nurture each and every contact you meet? As well as run your business and produce the actual product or service? Maybe it’s a tall order but I believe using at least some of these helps move you onto someone’s turf, build better relationships and win more business.