Do People still buy from People?


In today’s world of technology and social media coming at you from every angle, it  can be easy to mistakenly think that a great Facebook page, a twitter account, a few videos or blog post are all that you need to close sales.

However I was at two different events recently and reaffirmed that an old adage is still true – People buy from other People. At both events the discussion was around what business owners are doing today to attract customers? How do you follow up with your prospects? How are you incorporating Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, drip marketing, Groupons, Google Ads, and all the other social media tools into your marketing? The list is virtually endless…and taken as a whole, it creates a lot of noise.

Considering today’s crazy environment, the question came up, “What marketing works on you when you are a possible buyer?” The answer from many people that I talked with is they have so much noise coming in, they are starting to tune is all out.  Technology and social media aren’t working.

A quick look at my Recent Updates on my mobile Linked In app shows enough information posted in the last 24 hours that I would be reading for 12 hours non-stop if I wanted to read every posted article. Obviously, you pick and choose what interests you, but the point is there’s a lot of information to digest.

If it’s all turning into white noise, what ultimately becomes the differentiator? What stands out to you…and how does your message stand out to others? Is there still something to be said about the human connection aspect of selling your product or service?

I was getting a clear answer when visiting with people at these events. Personal referrals and references can be very convincing, but they are still marketing. However when someone engages in a real dialogue with you (including asking questions) they can help you get to the real value of their product or service as it pertains to your situation. When a real person engages with you…as a real person, it cuts through the white noise and creates credibility and confidence that simply can’t be matched by any other source.

I’m not suggesting you shut down your social media marketing program. Social media marketing will continue to be a very important tool to get your message out.  Let’s face it, the exact time you want your product or service in front of someone eyes is when they’re ready to buy. Your consistent social presence will help keep you top of mind. And, for some selling a boxed product or service on-line…if it’s simple enough…you can almost remove the human interaction with an effective marketing message and online sales funnel.

However for most businesses, your product or service is going to require human interaction – which is your opportunity to make sure you are actively engaging with your potential clients. Don’t fall into a trap of thinking your social message is going to completely replace real human interaction and dialogue. In other words, social media and other market presence can help get you in the door, but you still need to have real conversations, ask questions and develop a relationship if you want to make the sale.

I had the pleasure of hearing Mike Bayly – owner of Bayly Presentations speak this week on the importance of engaging your audience so your presentations produce the results you desire. His clients are often people wanting to improve their ability to speak to larger groups of people, but his message is just as applicable in a one-on-one discussion where you are selling a product or service. The bottom line is if your product or service involves any form of human dialogue you better be fully engaged with your prospect and you need to be genuinely interested because…People still buy from People.

If your competitor embraces this and you don’t, you will lose.

If you have read this far without bumping this into your “white noise” category, I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic in the comments below.

Chris Steinlage Kansas City Business Coach

Photo by Stuck in Customs