Earlier this week I was trawling the Internet for some inspiration for a training exercise, my search took me to Linked In. There I found a long discussion thread with lots of ideas for the kind of exercise I needed. However there was one comment that stood out, it said something like, ‘I have at least five suitable exercises but they’re my intellectual property so you’ll have to pay for them if you want them. Contact me by email’. That’s all, no details, no niceties, just ‘buy from me’. No-one had responded!
Don’t get me wrong I’m not expecting this guy to give away his intellectual property but he needs to earn my interest. Others were sharing exercises that are in the public domain or a brief description of the types of exercise they had used or links to learning resource suppliers. They were being generous with their expertise and experience and others were responding. No-one else was doing the hard sell but they were building relationships with others in the group and in some cases there was clearly some follow up which may have led to sales.
Broadcasters lose out!
People who use Social Media just to broadcast miss the point. They are the online equivalent of the person who turns up at a networking event and spends the entire evening talking about themselves. Most of us switch off very quickly. These people then say ‘Social Media doesn’t work’, or ‘Networking doesn’t work’. I beg to differ.
Social media and networking both work when we invest time to build relationships, when we are generous with our expertise and our contacts. I’ve said it before on these pages and will no doubt say it again, people buy from people they know like and trust.Social media allows us to develop these relationships way beyond our immediate boundaries. By being generous we build a greater following which leads to more recommendations and ultimately to more business. Most people don’t like to be in debt to another so they will look to repay our generosity with recommendations and referrals.
What do you think? Has being generous helped you to make more sales? Have you seen it work for other people? I’d love to hear your views, why not post a comment here?